Association to celebrate heritage

By Jack King

Clovis will host the convention of the New Mexico Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, the state chapter of the oldest African American secular organization in the nation, today through Sunday at the La Quinta Suites.
Evelyn Rising, second vice president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs and a past president of the New Mexico chapter, will speak at a public banquet at 7 p.m. Saturday at the La Quinta Suites. Rising’s topic will be “Passing On Our Heritage: Building Through Our Youth,” said Dorothy R. Brown, chaplain and a founder of Clovis’ Tan Terrific Federated Women’s Club.
Those interested in obtaining tickets for Rising’s speech can call Brown at 763-4175. Cost for the banquet tickets is $25.
Members of women’s clubs in Albuquerque, Hobbs and Clovis are expected to attend the convention, which will begin at 9 a.m. Friday and conclude Sunday morning, Brown said.
Brown said she expected 50 to 60 people will attend the event.
The National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1896, 13 years before the NAACP, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Web site.
Founders included anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman, journalist and anti-lynching speaker Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell, an educator and a founding member of the NAACP.
The group participated in anti-lynching efforts at a time when the practice had reached its height nationwide. It also opposed Washington, D.C.’s segregated transportation system, organized a national scholarship fund, as well as funds for kindergartens, vocational schools, summer camps and retirement homes.
It endorsed women’s suffrage in 1912, two years before its white counterpart, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
By the mid-20th century, every state had a chapter of the group and since then it has continued a tradition of community-based service, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Web site.
In Clovis, the Tan Terrific Federated Women’s Club provides between three and seven college scholarships a year, along with other public services, Brown said.