Fri | Nov 27, 2020

US black women’s group seeks to open Jamaica chapter

Published:Friday | June 21, 2019 | 12:40 AM

The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an 85-year-old, organisation based in the United States of America, is hoping to start a chapter in Kingston, says Jamaica-born board member Sandra K. Gipson.

Gipson said the organisation has earmarked Jamaica to become its first external chapter, which, according to her, would be able to deliver initiatives geared at assisting several sectors, including health and education.

The NCNW is a coalition comprising 200 community-based sections in 32 states and 38 national affiliates that works to enlighten and inspire more than three million women and men.

Its mission is to lead and to advocate for and empower women of African descent, their families, and communities.

“What we are doing is trying to get the section chartered here in Kingston, and we need at least 25 women to start that group.

“Our initiative is all about education, health, economic empowerment, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics), which is to empower, assist, encourage, and build up our women of African descent in the Caribbean and in America,” Gipson said, after making a pitch for members in front of delegates at the 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Kingston on Wednesday.

The NCNW has developed a strong repertoire in mentoring and training young women to be leaders, and Gipson said that that is also what the group would bring to Jamaica.

MAKING HISTORY

Gipson is the first black woman to be rated number one at the predominantly white insurance company where she works in Florida, stating that she is proud of the steps black women in the US have been making in areas previously dominated by white men and white females.

“We would like to see, for example, the first police commissioner in Jamaica; we would like to see that. There are some things we need to come back here to tell our little girls and our boys. We will be looking at the education sector, also the health service, to see what we can do out of this group.”

Gipson added: “There is no limit for us … . The African proverb said that if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, you go together. So we, the African women of Jamaica, from the US, from across the Caribbean and those in Africa, are one people, and that’s why our goal is to make Jamaica better, one step at a time,” she said.

Apart from promoting its core offerings in health and education, the NCNW also advocates for sound public policy consistent with traditional values as well as the promotion of civic engagements.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com