In July 1896, at the call of Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc. was founded in Washington, D.C. with the merger of the National Federation of Afro-American Women, the Women's Era Clubs of Boston, and the Colored Women's League of Washington, D.C.
Over the years the Association has grown, while maintaining a significant voice in national affairs and making contributions to the community. Membership includes women and youth in 32 states dedicated to "raising to the highest plane the home life, moral standards and civic life of our race."
The Fort Worth Association of Federated Women’s Clubs (FWAFWC) was organized in 1917 with Mrs. Fannie Mae Connally-Winn serving as the first president. It was the desire of Mrs. Winn that the “colored” women of Fort Worth have the opportunity to be known for their contributions and sacrificial service in the communities throughout the city.
Growth in membership prompted the association to branch into smaller groups to effectively reach the community at large. To date, there are ten local women’s clubs associated with the FWAFWC. Each club operates under its own set of officers, but all clubs are accountable to the president of the general body.
Over its storied history, the FWAFWC has produced leaders who, despite the challenges of gender and society, persevered. In the forefront of the organization’s cause has remained the commitment to ensure that women of color are aware of civic duties, social issues in the community, family health matters, cultural art awareness, and the importance, as well as responsibility of educating youth for a better future.
LANDMARKS IN THE HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Federation was organized during 1917 with Mrs. Fannie Mae Connally-Winn as the first president. She served only a few months and resigned.
Mrs. Callie Harvey was elected president and served fifteen years. The clubs worked to improve public education, use of libraries, parks and playgrounds, worked with welfare and humanitarian agencies. The Association helped to establish a home for delinquent girls in Texas. It was during the first fifteen years the members saw a need for a Club Home.
Mrs. L.M. Johnson was elected its third president in 1932, and served until 1937. She worked toward raising funds to purchase a Club Home. During her administration the Federation hosted the National Convention. Her administration was successful and she was able to turn over to her successor a nice savings account known as Club Home Fund.
Mrs. C.A. Brooks was elected the fourth president in 1937. All meetings were held at the YMCA. She saw to it that property was purchased and remolded during her administration. She served 17 years. The present building was erected and furnished.
Mrs. Verdia C. Gratts, the fifth president, was elected in 1955 and served two years. She carried on the work left by Mrs. Brooks. She started scrap books and the newsletters.
Mrs. H. T. Mitchell, the sixth president served from 1957 to 1959. She instituted the Outstanding Club Woman of the Year and presented the Langston University Acapella Singers and Jarvis Christian College Choir in concerts.
Mrs. M.D. Waters, the seventh president served from 1959 to 1963. Mrs. Waters was one of the Charter members of the organization and was able to continue the work started. She brought cultural programs to the Federation and presented one of our own members, Mrs. Francine Reese Morrison, in recital. All indebtedness of the Club Home was paid during her administration.
Mrs. Del Ferguson, the eighth president, served from 1963 to 1967. She was one of the most congenial workers of the organization. One who gave her money, time and talent. The members joined her in sending Christmas Cheer to the men fighting in Vietnam, and helped young boys and girls who had dropped out of school to find work and further their education with the Wicks or Job Corps.
Mrs. Fannie Mae Heath was the ninth president and gave generously of her time, talent and money also. She made available the Youth Orchestra of Greater Ft. Worth, Tarrant County Junior College Choir and the I. M. Terrell High School Chorus.
Mrs. C. C. Brown was the tenth president of the organization and served as the Isabel Smith District Chaplain for many years. Mrs. Mae Bell Kavanaugh was the eleventh and fourteenth president. The Red and White Tea was held during her tenure. She was able to raise funds for the upkeep of the Club Home.
Dr. Armentha Hill was the twelfth president and brought many interesting programs to the Federation.
Mrs. Juanita Young was the thirteenth president. During her tenure the Club Home was enlarged.
Mrs. Eleanor H. Jones was the fifteenth president. Our 70th Anniversary Celebration was held during her administration. The National president [Mrs. Imogene Gray] was in attendance at the celebration.
Mrs. Gloria Jones Marquez was the sixteenth president. She served from 1989 to 1993. Our 75th Anniversary Celebration was held during her administration. Ms. Ester Rolle was the guest speaker for the banquet. The president of Jarvis Christian College was in attendance to receive a scholarship from the Federation to a deserving student at the college.
The seventeenth president was Dr. Sarah P. Jones. She served two years.
Mrs. Johnnie O. Polk was the eighteenth president, serving from 1995 to 1999. She challenged the organization to identify, involve, inform and invest ourselves in our Club work. She encouraged the ladies to come together and make a difference in the community.
Mrs. Norma J. Thomas served as the nineteenth president from 1999 through 2007. She encouraged us to interact with the youth, the elderly and work to improve conditions for them throughout the community. During her tenure improvements were made at the Club Home. The Southwest Regional “Get Acquainted Program” was held at the Club Home during her administration. Many programs on Women's Health, Education and Social issues were held on meeting day each month. Members were encouraged to attend all meetings of the organization on all levels. The Cotillion was started again while she was in office.
Mrs. Maggie J. Mooney served as the twentieth president from 2007 through 2011. During her tenure two clubs were added and the 501(c)3 tax exemption was granted. The highlight of her presidency was the 7th Annual Cotillion. The Cotillion far exceeded the expectation and goal set by the Association with fourteen participants, the largest souvenir book ever produced (158 pages), and the greatest attendance ever. Mrs. Mooney passed the baton with an humble and grateful heart.
Annual Federation Day
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. guest of Vada Felder
Annual Isabel Smith District Convention