Women’s Organizations

What was the purpose of the National Conference of Colored Women?

The National Conference of Colored Women met in Boston, Massachusetts, in August 1895. The leading spirit in organizing the conference was Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin (1842–1924), the founder of the Women’s New Era Club. One hundred women from twenty clubs in ten states came together for the session. The meeting led to the formation of the National Federation of Afro-American Women, which was merged into the National Association of Colored Women the following year, on July 21, 1896. The new organization was founded as a national coalition of black women’s clubs and was the first and foremost national organization of black women at the time. Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954) became the first president of the National Association of Colored Women.


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