In New York City, 24 Black women began meeting in their homes in 1970 to assess the problems and opportunities left from the 1960s. The women formed the Coalition of 100 Black Women. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) was launched in 1981 with representatives from 14 states and the District of Columbia. The Indianapolis chapter was founded in 1982. Jatrice Martel Gaiter, who was an attorney and planner with the Community Service Council, spearheaded development of the Indianapolis chapter and served as its first president. Designed to respond to the interests and needs of African American women in the community, the group focused on areas of economic development, political action, arts and culture, and personal and professional development.

Several women pose in a line for a group photo.
The Coalition of 100 Black Women during an event at the Radisson Hotel, 1984 Credit: Indianapolis Recorder Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

The Indianapolis chapter continues to work in political, economic, and cultural arenas to promote the well-being of its members and of the African American community, with a special focus on women’s issues. It actively engages in project partnerships with corporate and community entities, following the organization’s motto of “building partnerships through creative alliances.”

On the national level, NCBW maintains a leadership forum that provides role models to help elevate the quality of life for young Black women and other Black women in transition. Career professionals and volunteer women collectively seek the political and economic empowerment of Black women.

Members of 100 Black Women mentor the students and instruct them on topics ranging from health to finances. It sponsors programs in education, economic development, public policy, arts and culture, and leadership development. Projects have included the Black Infant Mortality Task Force project, the minority intern program of the United Way Of Central indiana, the Center For Leadership Development, the Creative Writing Workshop at The Children’s Museum, support of  Habitat for Humanity, women’s programs at Coburn Place, professional development retreats, health wellness fairs, and financial planning seminars.

Gourmet Gents is the organization’s only fundraiser, with all the profits going directly to the organization’s programs which include Sister-Nomic$, a financial literacy program, and the Breakthrough Women Awards, a celebration of local women’s achievements. The Academy for Girls, an after-school program for middle and high school girls at Tindley Schools, also is a recipient.

Revised June 2021

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