Message from the Founder
When San Franciscans began to realize that its African American population was leaving the City in droves, investigation revealed that 65% of African Americans owned their homes. As the 16% African American presence declined, skilled workers, retirees, were given certificates guaranteeing them an opportunity to purchase one of the new homes built in San Francisco because they had lost their homes due to redevelopment of their neighborhoods, such as the Fillmore district. As African Americans reached the 6% population level, male and female professionals who knew of NCBW’s work in Northern California urged me to establish a San Francisco Chapter. However, I realized that a monumental undertaking of this nature already would add hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours to an already overly burdened schedule: Small Business Commissioner, Boards of San Francisco (SF), Convention and Visitors Bureau and S.F. African American Chamber of Commerce; Interior Designer in residence, St. Paulus Lutheran Church and S.F. Multi-Purpose Senior Center; CEO/President, MurphyReed Design Group & Art Galleria, NAWBO, Small Business Network, League of Women Voters, etc. I therefore need to consider these factors: •NCBW advocates for women and girls •I was on approved Leave of Absence from the Oakland Bay Area Chapter •San Francisco is an International Destination with considerable potential •San Francisco must rebuild its African American base •African American women and girls should enjoy and benefit from San Francisco’s exceptional benefits and resources Consequently, I began my research by attending a NCBW Leadership Retreat in Las Vegas where I was not only welcomed, but members gave their blessings and encouraged me to establish a Chapter of Progressive Women in San Francisco. My first reading of the NCBW story, its guiding principles, mission statement and objectives signaled that this organization’s concept was special and needed widespread circulation and involvement of progressive women of African descent. So our journey began in December, 1954, at the World Trade Center on San Francisco Bay, when a select group of women prayed for extension of the deadline date. President Leslie Mays, 1st Vice President Grazell Howard and 3rd Vice President Leslie Graham (Andrews) joined us at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill at a beautiful reception on July 27, 2005, when President Mays installed 52 phenomenal women the second day on July 28, 2005. The Silicon Valley (San Jose), Sacramento, and Las Vegas Presidents also participated in our two-day inauguration, which legally brought the San Francisco Chapter into the NCBW fold. Since our inauguration, NCBW San Francisco stocked the Delft library is Cape town, South Africa with new books, thus becoming the first NCBW chapter to go international. We continue to support the Delft Library.
Although we have had our challenges, we have persevered, and the National Leadership Retreat June 9th – 12th, 2010, at the Innesbrook Resort and Golf Club reaffirmed my belief that NCBW’s 2010 Strategic Plan will steer the organization to heights that are now impossible to comprehend placing all chapters on the same tract and thus fulfilling the original dream of our Founders. I am extremely excited about NCBW’s brand and programs and will do my part in its development and encourage our chapter member to do the same.