Beginning in the fall of 1976, a group of concerned women met in the home of Mrs. Vernice W. Barnes Cook to discuss issues affecting women and girls in the African American community. From these meetings, the New London County Section of NCNW was formed under the leadership of Mrs. Frances Johnson of Bridgeport, Connecticut. On August 20, 1977, National President Ruth M. Coleman signed the charter recognizing the New London County Section. There were 63 members, one associate member and two life members at the time of the charter. The charter officers were:
Mrs. Vernice Cook ..….....…… President Mrs. Charlotte Dickerson ..... Assistant Secretary
Mrs. Barbara Mozeak .......... 1st Vice President Mrs. Donetta Hodge ............. Financial Secretary
Mrs. Trish Burgie Capps …... 2nd Vice President Mrs. Shirley Carter ............... Treasurer
Mrs. Shirley Gillis ………........ Secretary
Other officers were Mrs. Lillie Cornish, Parliamentarian; Mrs. Jane Glover, Chaplain; Mrs. Lillian Giddings, Historian; Mrs. Patricia Edwards, Publicity; and Mrs. Mabel McKissick, Sergeant at Arms. This installation gala was held at Ocean Beach and representatives from the New Haven, Norwalk and Bridgeport Sections attended along with the State Convener Mrs. Frances Johnson.
In keeping with the rich tradition set by our founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, goals and strategies were developed to support the highest ideals of womanhood, service, and achievement. The New London County Section immediately began working in the community. Miss Valerie Greenough was crowned queen of the first cotillion ball held in 1979. The Section held several more cotillions that helped to instill values, self esteem, and community service in the young women and their escorts. Other programs and events initiated and supported by the New London County Section included Black History and Women's History Month celebrations and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorations. The Section continues to hold very successful Membership Teas, Founder's Day Luncheons, and Bethune Recognition Programs. African American women veterans were honored at the 2001 combined Membership Tea and Bethune Recognition Program. This was the first time women of color had been honored for their contribution in protecting and defending our country in the New London county. At the 2002 Founder’s Day Luncheon, special recognition was given to two community organizations, Kente Corporation and the Drop-in Learning Center, in support of their programs enriching the lives of the youth of our community and upholding the traditions of the Bethune Legacy. The 2004 Founder’s Day was most successful as First Ladies from ten churches were honored for their commitment to the community and their congregations. The 2004 Membership Tea yielded several new members. In 2005 we honored middle school 8th graders who wrote essays on Dr. Bethune. From 2006 through 2008 the youth initiative addressing issues of health, well-being and education has grown with many meaningful programs offered thoughout the years. This year, the Reather Moore Education Fund was established which will be used to promote educational goals of young women in the community. In keeping with the goals set by the charter organization, this Section is often called upon to lend support to other community organizations and functions.
Past Presidents of the New London County Section in order of service: Mrs. Vernice Cook, Mrs. Donetta Hodge, Mrs. Janie Presley, Mrs. Bettye Fletcher, Mrs. Tina Cunningham, Mrs. Tamara Syphrett, Mrs. Eunice Waller, Ms. JoAnn Miller, and Mrs. Luvina Busby.