Under the leadership of Founding Chair Sylvya J. Stevenson, the Kansas City Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women, Incorporated received its charter from the national chapter on Thursday, November 7, 2013. The charter was presented by national board member Judy Matthews on behalf of the national president, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. The installation was held at Bruce R. Watkins Heritage Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
To empower and engage Black women in utilizing their voices in the decision-making process; to develop local solutions to cultural, educational, economic, and political issues that affect Black communities.
The founding members are:
Sylvya Stevenson, MPA
Felicia Burns-Smith, RN, BSN
Tinka Barnes, MD
The formation of the Kansas City Chapter began in March 2011 and required the organizing chair to identify nine women committed to both carrying out the efforts to acquire a charter and help recruit active members to meet the annual 25-member requirement in accordance with the national bylaws.
The Articles of Incorporation for the Kansas City Chapter was established with the State of Missouri on October 23, 2013.
The chapter was legally formed as a 501 (c) (3) not for profit, sister organization under the National Chapter in accordance with the national bylaws on November 7, 2013. The Kansas City Chapter was determined to establish a foundation so that the organization may continue to empower black women through unity, sisterhood, leadership, and advocacy.
During the year of inception, the chapter launched its first program – the Annual Youth and Parent Back to School Breakfast – to heighten awareness of healthy eating and increased physical activity at home with family. The NCBW Los Angeles Chapter and local organizations like 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City and Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church supported our efforts as a new non-profit business. Job Corps, CHES, Inc., Save A Lot Stores, and Blue Hills Church of the Nazarene also offered partnerships.
In the first full year of existence, the Kansas City Chapter hosted career and resume workshops at local women shelters to provide resources and skill-training necessary for landing jobs. Additionally, with the support of the U.S. Department of Education and Equal Education Opportunity Center (EEOC) agency, the chapter hosted a college financial aid seminar for parents, their children, and students.
In 2014, the chapter held its first Election of Officers and LaNeise Butler was voted First Vice Chair.
The first Voter Education Workshop was launched that same year. Coalitions were formed by other non-profit leaders and community agencies in different areas of the City – and the Kansas City Chapter was invited to have a seat at the table.
Two years later on October 27, Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr. and members of the council of Kansas City officially declared November 3 as National Congress of Black Women Day.
Carleane Hawkins succeeded Sylvya Stevenson on November 1, 2017 with a three-year term.
The legacies of the NCBW National Founder and First National Chair Shirley Chisholm and her successor Dr. C. Delores Tucker lives on through the women of our chapter. As African-American women eager for leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities, we’re honored to have established a legacy of our own in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.