The New York Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, Inc. (The Coalition) was founded in 1970 by
twenty-four Black women for the purpose of giving back to the community. The desire to organize grew
out of the fermenting years of the 1960s. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing only to be jolted
by the deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy. During this time Black
women across the United States found themselves trying to gain acceptance into the Civil Rights and
A group of students who had participated in sit-ins throughout the South in protest of various
discriminatory policies were invited to be guests in the home of Coalition founder, Ms. Edna Beach. The
courage of these young people activated Ms. Beach’s sense of responsibility and she galvanized other
like-minded Black women to become involved in the struggle. The women worked hard, empowered
themselves and recruited other women to serve as positive role models for young Black women.
By 1972, the group had recruited more than the targeted 100 members, the majority of whom were
visible in many facets of the community and who were unsung sheroes themselves. The Coalition
cultivated strong involvement with mentoring and grass roots community activities which gave it
national exposure and triggered the creation of a national entity in October 1981. The vision and spirit
of the founders of the New York Coalition on One Hundred Black Women, Inc. remains vibrant within
the organization until today.