In the winter of 1970 in New York City, 24 African American women began meeting in their homes to assess the problems and opportunities left behind in the wake of the turbulent 1960s. As a result of their meetings, they formed the Coalition of 100 Black Women.
For the rest of the 1970s, they slowly but persistently worked to master root causes of issues that affected their families, their communities and themselves. They began to reach out to other Black women in common cause, and eventually, mobilized their emerging stature as a visible force of influence promoting gender and racial equity.
In 1981, the New York Coalition had over 500 members throughout New York City’s metropolitan area, far in excess of the symbolic “100” in its title.
Its effective role-model projects and its association with grass-roots community activity won notice in both local and national news media. As the Coalition gained recognition, Black women from other parts of the country aspired to duplicate its mission and programs in their own geographic areas.
In 1981, it decided to create a national organization, to expand beyond the boundaries of New York City,
Today, the national movement has garnered more than 6,000 members over the years throughout 60 chapters representing 25 states and the District of Columbia. In profile, the typical Coalition woman has completed college, holds a professional position, earns a median income of $40,000, is age 40 to 50, and is integrally involved in the socioeconomic and political matrix of her respective community.
Maryland has a Baltimore Metropolitan chapter as well as an Anne Arundel County chapter to foster principles of equal rights and opportunities, promote the awareness of Black culture. and to develop the potential of the membership for effective leadership and participation in civic affairs.