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             Programs and Activities

  2021 - 2022 

     The Greater Boston Section of the National Council of Negro Women was established 30 years ago--January 1992--with the purpose of leading, advocating for, and empowering women of African descent, their families, and communities. As we mark this milestone, we must reflect on all that the membership has done in the past year, living the mission in our official roles within the section and also in our everyday lives. 

     We have honored the "she-roes" of the past, including famed 19th century African-American/Native-American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, showcased Boston-area female entrepreneurs, made charitable donations to a children's orchestra, and worked side-by-side with doctoral students whose research and practicums align with our mission. 

     Being of service continues to be a central theme for us. We will continue to find creative and effective ways to pursue our program initiatives as COVID numbers fluctuate. We are proud to sat that our section members have done an outstanding job of keeping GBS NCNW not only vibrant, but relevant.



  • We wore our power! Members of GBS NCNW came together on the first Friday in February 2022 to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and save lives. We participated in National Wear Red Day. We pulled our red apparel from our closets, snapped pictures of the occasion and shared them on social media to play our part in the national movement to ignite a wave of red from coast to coast.

  • We celebrated National Founder's Day in December 2021 with Andover Baptist Church in Andover, MA. 86 years earlier, NCNW was founded by Educator and Humanitarian Mary McCleod Bethune. For more than 50 years, the iconic Dr. Dorothy Height served as president. As part of the mission of GBS NCNW, the section made a $250 donation to Andover Baptist for their Christian Education Ministry.

  • Under the sponsorship of the American Red Cross, we have hosted Sickle Cell Fighters blood drives. At one of our programs, we featured Sickle Cell "warrior," Dima Hendricks, who explained how she manages the disease. She encourages everyone to support scientific research and donate blood. 

Additional Programs:

  • Participated in a Sankofa event with the Delta Omicron Zeta chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. A story was presented about Sammy Davis Jr. and the racism he endured throughout his life.

  • Donated to the 12th Baptist Church Food Pantry.

  • Donated to City Strings United, a Boston-area youth orchestra for urban community children.

  • Hosted Joanna, "the Spice Lady," at our April meeting. She told the members how she began her business during the pandemic.


The section was featured in Sisters, the national publication of the National Council of Negro Women, on multiple occasions. This year we honored historical figures. We hosted a ceremony in honor of 19th century sculpture Edmonia Lewis and the U.S. Postal stamp issued in her honor. We honored the second oldest resident of the state of Massachusetts, Herlda Senhouse, at 111 years old with an honorary membership. 

Determined to help our community in different ways, the section hosted monthly free, live cooking classes over zoom, focused on healthy living. We also participated in a Black Student Summit with other organizations. 


Additional Events:

  • Hosted guest speakers in the "Racial Disparities in Public Health" event in collaboration with other organizations

  • Brought awareness to Lupus in our event "Living with Lupus"

  • Hosted a discussion about fitness and physical health called "Keep On Movin'"

  • Hosted a discussion on maternal health in "Pregnancy After 35: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby"

  • Collaborated with 4 Corners Yoga & Wellness for "Parents' Perspective: Understanding the Needs of Children with Autism"

  • Celebrated our 30th Anniversary

  • Collaborated with the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc for an event titled "Black Mental Health


We are an “organization of organizations” and this year we’ve been strengthening our bonds with other organizations. In our continuing work with the Delta Research and Educational Foundation Research Matters for All of Us campaign, we supported these panels and others: Healthy Food, Healthy Life, Keep on Movin' Physical Fitness, Pregnancy after 35, Cervical Cancer, and Diabetes Awareness. In some instances, we introduced the programs, and for every session, the section helped with publicity. 

We also partnered with the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition on healthy eating demonstrations. We have also partnered with the Greater Boston National PanHellenic Society in publicizing each others events.






  • We continue to upgrade our website, adding new photos to the carousel at the top of the home page and updating eye-catching notices about upcoming events. We plan to make our "join" button more prominent on the homepage and pursue a complete overhaul of the website.


The Section placed major emphasis on raising its social media profile. We do important work and want more people to know about it. The section has had a Facebook account for years and in 2020 added Twitter and Instagram accounts. Through all three of these accounts we have shared the following types of posts:

  • Major Holidays

  • Ethnic Holidays and Observances

  • Historical NCNW Commemorations

  • Awareness Months

  • Calls to Action

  • GBS Programs and Service Projects

  • GBS Member Achievements

  • Career Opportunities

  • Using its Twitter and Instagram accounts the section connected with local chapters of other organizations under the NCNW umbrella and organizations with aligned missions. These include:

  • The Divine 9 Greek-letter fraternities and sororities

  • Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts

  • Boston Branch NAACP

  • Brockton NAACP

  • AARP of Massachusetts

  • AARP Black Community

  • Boston YWCA

  • Other NCNW sections


Press releases were sent to media outlets about Section events and programs. We received news coverage in the Boston Globe and Framingham Source about the Women of Courage and Conviction Awards Ceremony; Bay State Banner, Mass Insider, and Weymouth News, about the election of Lisa Braxton as Section president and RGB Internet Radio in which several members have been interviewed for the Winning Women radio show.

NCNW's Sisters Magazine has featured the section in recent issues.






Congratulations to Section member Shironda White for her entrepreneurial acumen and for the feature story in Boston Magazine on the business she co-owns, Cupcake Therapy, a premium, nut-free cupcakery in Boston that ships nationwide.


Also, Shironda is Founder & CEO of CauseEDU, a platform working to democratize the college financial planning process. With a 20-year career spanning philanthropy, financial services, and higher education management, she has worked as a relationship builder between donors, grantees, and students, securing and administering millions in education grant funding and student scholarships.


Congratulations to Section member Claudine Bruff for being chosen a "Health Care Hero" by Intelycare which helps with staffing and scheduling at nursing facilities around the country.

Claudine worked full time as a nurse and additionally helped out in skilled nursing facilities that were understaffed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working in health care during the pandemic was high adrenaline. Last year, when there wasn't widespread COVID testing, the assumption at work was that everyone had the virus, she said. Staff donned personal protective equipment around each other and to tend to patients. Bruff was a pediatric nurse manager at Dorchester House Health and would lead daily huddles with reflections and emotional check-ins with staff.

Congratulations to Section President Lisa Braxton, whose debut novel, The Talking Drum, published in the spring of 2020, has won multiple awards including the Independent Publisher gold medal for urban fiction, the National Association of Black Journalists Outstanding Literary Award, and the Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book. The Talking Drum is also a finalist for Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award in the general category.

The Talking Drum is about three young couples in the early 1970s and how they're affected when an urban redevelopment project takes over an immigrant neighborhood.

“Themes of race, class and culture are skillfully woven throughout.” —Ms. Magazine

“A book that is sensual, fraught, and above all, human.” —The Boston Globe






And in spite of the COVID lockdown, we had a parade. A virtual parade, that is of hats. We joined members across the country in a parade celebrating the birthday of Doctor Dorothy Height, who was known for her elegant and stylish hats.



  • Sponsored a "Census and Voter Information Forum" in 2020 

  • Sponsored our annual "Career Awareness Day for Teens": 22+ professions represented at the Fair 

  • Increased our Membership:  Received the third place award at the NCNW National Convention

  • Share-the-Love care bags presented to women's shelters

  • Sponsored a "Funding Your Education Seminar" for parents and young people  

  • Collaboration with the Bedford Rotary Club for the "Rise Against Hunger Food-Packing Initiative".  Several members assisted with packing thousands of meals. 

  • Monthly donations to a local food pantry

  • Sponsored an informative "Long-Term Care Symposium" at the Boston Medical Center in collaboration with the All of Us Program

  • Monetary contributions listed below (2016 - Present)

  • Received the third place award at the 2019 NCNW New England Regional Summit for our Health Initiatives

  • Received the second place award at the 2019 NCNW New England Regional Summit for Collaborative programming

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2016-2019 Additional Programs and Activities

Membership Tea: We hosted High Tea for 45 members and friends where we presented information about the organization and were blessed by a liturgical dance to Amazing Grace. (2016)


The 31st Anniversary Joyful Noise Gospel Concert and Reception: Members and friends fellowshiped prior to attending this event at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge in support of the fabulous Harlem Gospel Choir.


Share the Love Donations:  GBS purchased toiletries and tote bags which members worked in on an assembly line to fill. Bags were then distributed to the women housed in two domestic violence shelters in the community.

The Career Awareness Day Program has grown each year since inception. Professionals from a variety of vocations have joined us to inspire and enlighten young people on the possibilities for their future career endeavors. Engineers, Medical Doctors, Electricians,

Carpenters, Architects, Lawyers, Entrepreneurs, Scientists and Educators to name a few, have participated in the GBS NCNW Career Awareness Day program.

Members and friends supported the Morehouse College Glee Club. It was a wonderful experience to hear the melodious sounds and rhythms of the choir and to support the efforts of the young men to continue their education.


In collaboration with the Bedford Rotary Club, members assisted with packing  meals for the Rise Against Hunger program.  A shipping container holding 285,120 meals has been sent to the Salesian Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to other regions around the world where there is a need.  

As a section, GBS NCNW members contribute items monthly to a local Food Pantry.


Guest Presenters at our meetings included:

  • Members from the Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association, Inc. who enlightened us on the continuing struggles that individuals stricken with the disease face and the efforts of the Association to assist them and garner funds for research. 

  • A Spokesperson from the American Heart Association who provided vital information regarding our heart health.

  • A Financial Planner who advised us on means of maintaining our finances and planning our futures.  

Education and History: In October 2016, GBS NCNW sponsored a Washington, D.C. Spectacular bus tour from the Boston area.  Two busloads of ladies and gentlemen visited the nation’s capital and toured many historic sites including the recently opened National Museum of African American History & Culture, the Capitol Building, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women on Pennsylvania Avenue.  We also had a photo-op at the White House, also on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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25th Anniversary: In celebration of our 25th anniversary, members attended worship service at St. John's Baptist Church in Woburn, the site of the first meeting of GBS. We were welcomed by Pastor Neal Pearson and officers and members of St. John's.

Dorothy Height Stamp Presentation:  GBS NCNW members attended the Boston unveiling ceremony of the Dorothy Height Stamp sponsored by the United States Post Office, GBS and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.  President Charlene Greene, the keynote speaker, delivered an impassioned speech on the history of the National Council of Negro Women and encouraged all in attendance to get involved in public service projects.

Five extraordinary women were honored at our Women of Courage and Conviction Awards Luncheon held in March 2018.  We highlighted the exceptional achievements of these phenomenal women and avid role models in disciplines such as Art, Math, History, Medicine and Civil Rights/Activism.  These women have served with purpose and passion and have immeasurably impacted the lives of young people and others in our community and beyond.


Recent Contributions/Donations in support of:


  •  An Instructor for The City Strings United group which teaches young people

the art of playing stringed instruments.

  • The Bethel Math and Science Scholars Program.

  • Lena Park Community Center's "Coming Home" fundraising celebration,

Sponsored the participation of two local residents.

  • The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), an organization focused

on improving success in school among boys and young men of color​.

  • The Urban Golf Academy, which provides academic support, equipment and 

golf lessons to young people in the community.

  • The University of the Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

  • Brockton NAACP ACT-SO Program, supported a Student's attendance at the national competition.

  • Freedom House Legacy Building Project.

  • BIBHE/Building International Bridges to Higher Education.

The Greater Boston Section meets virtually the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon, September through June.

Contact us:

Greater Boston Section – National Council of Negro Women (GBS NCNW)

P.O. Box 2804

Woburn, MA 01888-1404

GBS-NCNW is a 501(c)(3) Corporation

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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