In 1974, Dr. Susan Lincoln and Mrs. Mattie Hatcher Long were selected by the National Office to serve as area coordinators to seek out women of the area who were interested in reviving the New Haven Section of the National Council of Negro Woman. A Steering Committee was formed to work with the coordinators to develop strategies for carrying out this mission. The committee included Ms. Priscilla Blassingame, Mrs. Eleanor Boyd, Mrs. Delila Gomes, Mrs. Curdina Hill, Mrs. Eloise Middleton and Mrs. Bessie Scott. The committee planned and presented the local section's first public program, "Black Women's Unity Day," at the former Edgewood Congregational Church, on March 31, 1974. On September 13, 1975, we were granted our charter by the national body, represented by State Convener, Mrs. Frances Johnson, at the "Year Ahead" planning session held at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Temporary officers were elected: Mrs. Nan Rogers, President; Mrs. Faye Marion, Secretary; Mrs. Rachel Summerset, Treasurer.
Since its chartering, the New Haven Section, has continuously sponsored and participated in programs that focused on the needs and concerns of the Black Community. Our endeavors have included participation in New Haven's Black Expo; voter registration; flu shot clinic; preparing a televised debate between political candidates; a workshop for families which included the topic of interracial adoption; workshops and panel discussions on the City of New Haven housing problem in urban areas, formed a collaborative Task Force working with the City of New Haven to address the emergency housing issues; participation in the Mayor's Expo, which includes the distribution of civic educational information and talking with people about the NCNW. We originated and co-sponsor the African American Women's Summit; and hosted the "Woman to Woman" Campaign against breast cancer presented by Upper Room Unlimited.
The New Haven Section initiated a special Christmas program for women and children that live in temporary shelters. Our members provided, prepared and served dinner to all attending, and the children were presented with toys. On an ongoing basis the Education Committee mentors, teaches social skills, and conducts cultural outings at elementary schools such as Wexler/Grant, Barnard, and Katherine Brennan Schools. We support the Martin Luther King Day programs, and also, contribute to the Dixwell Community "Q" House, and to other community organizations. Each year we celebrate our Founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, with our Annual Founder's Day Awards Luncheon where outstanding women, men and youth in the community are honored. The four Connecticut Sections come together to host a State Recognition Award Luncheon whose proceeds help to support programs on a National level. Our Section, in collaboration with the Stetson Library, a neighborhood branch of the New Haven Public Library, initiated a successful Book Club that meets monthly to discuss a wide variety of books. Our section has been greatly honored by the following members who were selected as outstanding women in education by the National Office: Ms.Jeffie Frazier, Principal of Helene Grant School, Ms. Enid Sargeant, long time teacher at Helene Grant School, and recently Ms. Eva Spence Johnson of Alice Peck School in Hamden; all have received the Excellence in Teaching Award, a most prestigious honor.
On a National level, the New Haven Section supports the National Council of Negro Women by attending the National Convention, by pledging to the historic new National Headquarters and the Centers for African American Women on Pennsylvania Avenue. Our New Haven Section of NCNW membership is open to all, and we welcome you to join us. Past Presidents of the Greater New Haven Section: Lynda Sampson Gray, Eleanor Boyd, Melcena Jackson, Margery Mills, Isabella Williams, Ethel Archibald, Ildra Mae Carroll, Charlotte Brown, Enid Sargeant, Geraldine Poole, Sheila Jewell.