By Rochelle Thompson
Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs will hold its Founder’s Day and Derby celebration on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Federation Clubhouse located at 1010 Chapel Street in Walnut Hills, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Mrs. Mary Fletcher Ross who orchestrated bringing several separate women’s clubs together under one umbrella established this organization on May 6, 1904. Ross envisioned women working together for the betterment of the community and the race at large. In its early years, race progression was a main strategy as a reaction to portrayal of “Negroes” at that time. The Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs predates the NAACP.
While the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs planned, implemented and completed many community projects, one of its most profound missions was the creation of a free kindergarten program at Brown Chapel AME church in Walnut Hills to assist working mothers. This initiative had tremendous influence in the community at that time in that the Cincinnati Public Schools adopted this practice into the school system.
Bound to do more, the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs purchased a piece of property in 1925. This property, a Samuel Hannaford-designed mansion, was the former home to the first Mayor of Cincinnati, John B. Mosby. It also is a registered national historic landmark. The Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs used this property for temporary housing to house young women who came to Cincinnati seeking work. The mortgage was paid off in 1946. Commonly referred to as the Clubhouse by members of the organization, this property is still owned by this organization and a jewel in the community.
The Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs has remained active over the years. It has a great presence at Douglas elementary school. It supports the school by providing needed items such as clothing, hygiene particulars and dental supplies. This effort supports both male and female students.
For more information about the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, come meet and greet its members and others at the celebration on May 5. The phone number to leave a message is 888-823-2922. While the local chapter does not have a website at this time, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs website is provided. http://nacwc.org/