National Association of Colored Women’s Club Founds Nashville Economically Empowered Women’s Club in Nashville: Lifting As We Climb

(Nashville, TN) – Nashville leaders recently embarked on a journey that marked a historic moment with the founding of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club – Nashville Economically Empowered Women’s Club (NEEW) in Nashville, Tennessee. The National Association of Colored Women (later the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs) was formed in Washington, D.C. on July 21, 1896. NACWC founders included Harriet Tubman, Margaret Murray Washington, Frances EW Harper, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Victoria Earle Matthews, Josephine Silone Yates and Mary Church Terrell (first president of the organization).

The organizers of the Nashville NEEW Club were Dr. Katherine Y. Brown and Sydney YK Brown who worked for two years to bring the club to fruition. Dr. Katherine, having been a member of another club and also an advisor for a local collegiate club, was thrilled to open a new club in the Nashville area. The historic charter of the Nashville Economically Empowered Women Club was held on May 22, 2022 at the Nashville home of Dr. Katherine Y. Brown. Women are used to gathering in homes and having meaningful contributions to bring about change and it can be said that new is committed to wearing the mantle to do great things that build on the historic legacy women in this great community.

“Given the state of events in the world and its resounding impact on women, children, families and communities of color, there is a need in our community that can be met through the mission of the NACWC. The Lifting As We Climb motto calls us to action and advocacy that we hope we can achieve,” explained Dr. Katherine Y. Brown, Founding Member and First President of the Nashville NEEW Club of NACWC. History matters to this club is focused on how it plans to contribute to the Nashville community. Asked about the objectives of the Club, Sydney YK Brown, founding member of Nashville NEEW, explained: “The objectives of NEEW are: to work for the economic, moral, religious and social welfare of women and young people; protect the rights of women and young people; raise the standard and quality of life in the home and family; secure and use our influence to uphold the civil and political rights of African Americans and all citizens; promote the education of women and young people through the work of the departments; to obtain for African-American women the possibility of attaining the highest levels in all fields of human endeavour; promote effective interaction with the Male Auxiliary and promote interracial understanding so that justice and goodwill may prevail among all.

Each club has a goal and NEEW has chosen economic empowerment. Ms. Shay Gresham Howard (also a founding member) explained: “Focusing on entrepreneurship and building wealth in the black community is paramount to creating a legacy for generations to come.

NEEW founding member Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas, a prominent national womanist scholar and Vanderbilt Professor of Ethics and Moral Leadership, says: “Although we are NEEW, there is nothing new about Afro women. -Americans who have been historically heroic in championing the cause of community uprising and social justice. Since the 19th century, the NACWC has been legendary in leading the charge of expressing and demanding a sense of identity that skillfully exercised traditional communism and critical socio-economic engagement in combating the social ills of racism, sexism and classism that have plagued black women and their communities. The NACWC celebrates a legacy of moral leadership and tireless tenacity that has rescued women’s clubs from the stereotype of exclusivity, hobbies and socializing for the higher call to organize women leaders who seek meaningful change in rising as we climb and leaving no one of goodwill behind.

When we think of economic empowerment, specifically the ability to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from growth processes in a way that recognizes the value of contributions, respect, dignity, and allows for negotiation of a more equitable distribution of the benefits of growth, the need for economically empowered women in Nashville is clear. Since its constitution with nine members, it has already grown by two additional women. Among this list of distinguished community leaders who are members of Nashville NEEW are Monchiere Holmes-Jones (CEO of MOJO Marketing), Dr. Tamika Bryant Hudson (Vanderbilt Nursing Professor), Dr. Donna Goodrich (author), Dr. Katherine Y. Brown (Founder of Learn CPR America, LLC and Founder of Dr. Katherine Y. Brown Leadership Academy), Sydney YK Brown (Executive Director of Roberta Baines-Wheeler RBW Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Group) and Sylvia Johnson (CPA). If the individual achievements of these women are an indicator of what they will achieve together; the future is bright for the Nashville Economically Empowered Women Club of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. For more information, email Dr. Katherine Y. Brown at [email protected] or [email protected]

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