By Valerie Whitney-Lowery
TAMPA—Tempress “Tee” Solomon, of Tampa, was installed recently as the first president of the Fl State Coalition of NCNW Inc.
The event comes more than two years after Florida members of the National Council of Negro Women Inc. (NCNW) began the journey toward a more cohesive organization. Heretofore, the 21 community and collegiate sections in the Sunshine State operated semi-independently under the umbrella of their national leadership headquartered in Washington, D.C.
“Today my heart is filled with joy and pride. This is a monumental and historic moment for the state of Florida,” said Solomon, a retired educator and local community activist.
Besides Solomon, the following officers were installed by Judge Barbara Twine-Thomas, of the Hillsborough County 13th Judicial Circuit Court: Rachel Oliver, vice president; Atavia White, recording secretary; Mae Welch, assistant recording secretary; Kruzshander Scott, corresponding secretary; Gwendolyn Fields, treasurer; Rose McKay, financial secretary; Sandra Jackson, historian; Emily Rogers, parliamentarian; Rosemary McKinley, chaplain; and Nadelyn Harris, sergeant-at-arms.
“We are serious about Florida’s more forward. It was a team effort to get to this day,” Solomon said following the December 6 ceremony. “This evening we have put the icing on the cake by getting to our destination, but this is just the start of our journey.”
Among the special guest at the virtual installation was Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, chair, and 7th national president of NCW Inc. and a resident of Jacksonville, Florida.
“Each of you sisters as you step into your roles, you must be the kind of leaders that NCNW deserves—you must be of service to others,” Cole said, “and remain committed to work on behalf of Black women, our families and our communities.”
Also, participating in the event was Dr. Paulette Walker, past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Peola McCaskill, National NCNW Parliamentarian Emerita; and national Membership co-chairs Dr. Lois Keith and Diane Larche.
NCNW was founded by educator Mary McLeod Bethune on December 5, 1935, as an “organization of organizations.” Today it is a powerful network of nearly three million women worldwide. NCNW is open to all persons without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Its primary mission is advocating for women of African descent, their families, and communities.