Montclair Section



The NCNW mission is to lead, develop and advocate for women of color as they support their families and communities. NCNW fulfills this mission through research, advocacy, national and community-based services. NCNW programs provide information on issues of health, education and economic empowerment in the United States and Africa.

Committees. Our committees drive most of the activities of our section. Each program is led by a Chairperson and a Co-Chair along with other members from the Section who volunteer to join the committee and assist as needed. The program committee collectively as a team plans, develops and executes the particular program.


Executive Board:


The Executive Committee is the management team of the Section. Led by the President, the team

meets monthly, prior to the general meeting, to discuss the upcoming agenda and to address any

issues that need to presented at the general meeting.


Acting President Diane Spencer

1st Vice President, Programs Diane Spencer & Team

2nd Vice President, Membership Sandra Cook-McKnight

Recording Secretary Gloria Corprew

Financial Secretary Gloria Matthews

Treasurer Agnew Brantley

Parliamentarian Elsie Barrick

Historian Oneka Sangster

Chaplain Lola Paige





The Montclair Section takes pride in presenting many community programs and events during the year and offer something of value for every member. Members are encouraged to get

involved in our programs. The following is a list of some of Montclair Section’s signature programs:


Christmas Party for Children – December

Mardi-Gras Card Party - February

Annual Awards Luncheon – March

African American Heritage Event - June

Bethune Height Recognition Program – June

Back-to-School: Back Pack Giveaway - August

Kinship/Caregiver Support Group - Ongoing

Membership Drive - Ongoing

Youth Group (Girls 13 – 18) – In Planning Stage

Special Focus: Programs for 2018


Financial Literacy

Health Programs – HIV Aids

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)

Membership Drive – Statewide Competition




The Montclair section works with the NAACP, the National Urban League, Brother to Brother Mentoring Program, Montclair Neighborhood Development Council (MDNC) and other community organizations and agencies.




Membership is open to women from all stages in their lives and careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Men are welcome to become associate members.




Meetings are held the fourth Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Montclair Women’s Community Circle, 33 Woodland Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042.



Montclair Section History


Founded and organized in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune, the National Council of Negro Women operated as local councils in key cities and rural areas. By 1945, NCNW operated in 24 states with metropolitan councils in urban areas. Initially, the organization was set up as regions where the local councils worked with Regional Directors to spread the base of the national program. Mrs. Hortense Tate, a well-known teacher in Montclair, served as a Regional Director.


In 1943, Mrs. Elizabeth Alexander of Orange, president of the Auxiliary, National Medical Society, and an NCNW Life Member, convened a group of women at the Sojourner Truth Branch of the YWCA in Newark and formed the New Jersey Council of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. The first president of the New Jersey Council was Montclair resident, Mrs. Bertell Collins Wright. Other leaders in the New Jersey Council included women from East Orange, Orange, Roselle and Newark. The New Jersey Council eventually became “Sections” of which the Montclair Section was officially formed in 1954, and has the distinction of being one of the first three Sections formed, along with Newark and Roselle.


The first Section president of Montclair was Mrs. Florence Jackson who conducted meetings in homes until requirements were met for an official charter. She was followed by Mrs. Louise Rainer, who was elected the first president under the new charter, and meetings eventually moved from homes to the local YWCA. For over 63 years, the Montclair Section has been a leader and innovative partner, planning and implementing extensive grassroot programs and community service activities to shape the policies and mission of our founder, Mary McLeod Bethune.


The following is a list of Montclair Section’s past and most recent presidents who have proudly served and contributed to the growth and enrichment of women and their families through the years, dating back to 1954.


Florence Jackson

Louise Rainer

Edith Holt

Betty Johnson

Violet Tindall

Isabelle Kiah

Lilly Mae Jonson

Garvis Reid

Myrna Hinton

Phyllis Rogers

Mary Simpson

Thelma White

Elsie Bookhart

Gloria Matthews

Donna Williams

Marcella Jenkins

Sandra Cook-McKnight

Donna Roberson

Diane Brown Spencer (Currently Acting)


New Jersey State Steering Committee  |  National Council of Negro Women, Inc.  |  P.O. Box 257 |  Rahway, New Jersey 07065  |  E-mail: