WIN Wednesdays: Mary Church Terrell

It seemed apropos that this WIN Wednesday during Black History Month—we feature the legacy of one of our founders, Mary Church Terrell. 

In 1909, Mary Church Terrell was one of two women of color (the other was Ida B. Wells-Barnett) to attend the first organizational meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  She established an NAACP branch in Washington, DC and served as the branch’s Vice President. 

The daughter of former slaves and an educator, Mary Church Terrell was the first African-American woman elected to the DC Board of Education in 1895. She was active member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and she advocated for the voting rights of African-American women.  In 1896, Mary Church Terrell became the president of the newly formed National Association of Colored Women (NACW). Under her leadership, the NACW established nurseries and kindergartens and helped orphans. 

Mary Church Terrell was born the same year the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, and she died two months after the Supreme Court decision for Brown v. Board of Education. During her lifetime, she was an advocate for racial and gender equality.

We salute the work of Mary Church Terrell and the work of all the women in the NAACP.  For more Black History Month facts, quotes, and trivia Text HISTORY to 62227 to join the NAACP mobile list.