Programs and Activities

  2020 - 2021 

These past couple of years will always be remembered as among the most challenging that we have had to face as a nation. Racial and ethnic violence, political divisiveness and turmoil, and a deadly public health crisis that spanned the world had many of us wondering if we would ever see calm days again. As I write this, in September 2021, mask mandates have been largely lifted, but many of us are choosing to “mask up” again because of the Delta Variant.

As we continue to navigate our "new normal," GBS NCNW has remained active and steadfast in its mission to lead, advocate for, and empower women of African descent, their families, and communities. Because of Covid-19, we have had to find creative ways to pursue our service projects and program initiatives, often switching to a video conferencing format in the place of live events and meetings.

 

PROGRAMS

  • We wore our power! Members of GBS NCNW came together on the first Friday in February 2021 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. Nia Hamm, reporter for NBC Boston, who emceed our WCC event, retweeted our tweet, strengthening our impact to the Twitter audience

  • We collaborated with Mass General Hospital on a COVID-19 PSA designed to allay fears of people of color about the health care system so that they would consider getting the vaccine. Titled, "Think About It," the video was distributed widely, posted on the Section website and shared on our social media pages.

  • The Women of Courage and Conviction (WCC) Awards Program honors outstanding leaders in the Boston Community. The 27th annual event was held as a free event on a virtual platform. One hundred fifty-six registered. One hundred twenty-five attended. WCC is typically one of the section's biggest fundraisers. Local NBC news reporter Nia Hamm emceed the event. Afterward, the souvenir journal was posted on the website.

Additional Programs:

  • Members volunteered as mentors and judges for the Brockton Branch NAACP ACT-SO (Academic Olympics) Program

  • Hosted an American Red Cross sickle cell anemia blood drive

  • Donated duffel bags for the Duffels for Kids program

  • Donated $200 to the Margaret Hazel Missionary Society

  • Donated $500 to Twelfth Baptist Church Food Pantry

EVENTS

The section kicked off fall 2020 with an author chat, held on Zoom, featuring two debut novelists, GBS President Lisa Braxton, author of The Talking Drum, and Catherine Adel West, author of Saving Ruby King. The authors talked about their journeys to publication, the inspiration for their writing and the nuts and bolts of crafting their novels.

Aligning with our mission to advocate for women of African descent, we partnered with Susie's Stories, and encouraged the public to purchase the authors' books at Susie Rich's bookstore. Within the first month, the recording of the event on Facebook received 449 views and 79 engagements.

 

Additional events:

  • Worshiped as body in December for Founder's Day at virtual Sunday service at St. Paul A.M.E. Church.

  • Attended the Merrimack Valley and Brockton Branch NAACP, and St. John's Baptist Church virtual MLK celebrations.

  • Attended Bridgeport NCNW Section virtual membership tea.

  • Participated in the National Parade of Hats in celebration of Dr. Dorothy Height.

  • Participated in Get Out the Vote phone bank

COLLABORATION

We are an “organization of organizations” and this year we’ve been strengthening our bonds with our women’s organizations. In our continuing work with the Delta Research and Educational Foundation Research Matters for All of Us campaign, we supported panels on Food Justice and Insecurity, Women’s Health Care and Advocacy, African American Women and the Positive Impact of Yoga.

We co-hosted a talk with Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute on Covid-19 and Mental Wellness. 

We are collaborating with Delta Omicron Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. by publicizing each other's programs. Most recently we shared on social media information about the panel on autism acceptance that the sorority sponsored.

The Section co-sponsored with Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a panel discussion, “Covid-19: From Virus to Vaccine,” featuring presentations from state and local officials, clergy, and health professionals.

 

 

WEBSITE

  • Work to add a "Donate" button to the website was completed by the fall, allowing donors, new members, and renewing members an electronic means to make donations or payments.

  • In addition, the social media icons and links were added to the homepage, letting visitors easily switch from the website to the Section's social media pages.

  • A blog feature was added under the "more" section of the homepage.

  • The homepage is updated periodically with videos, news from NCNW headquarters, and member

  • news.

  • Updated photos from our programs and events have been added to the slide show on the homepage.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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

MEDIA COVERAGE

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.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

 

 

 

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.

 

2018-2020

  • 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

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.

DSCN7236.JPG
IMG_1485.jpg

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.

85-NCNW Luncheon_03.24.2018 3-24-2018 3-

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.