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Club Corner: National Council of Negro Women


Member of Bloomsburg’s chapter of the National Council of Negro Women. Photo submitted by Raziya Givens.

What is the NCNW?

The NCNW, which stands for the National Council of Negro Women, is an organization on campus that is dedicated to educating students on black culture. The club on campus is a collegiate branch of the national NCNW organization. According to the NCNW website, the organization’s mission is “to lead, empower, and advocate for women of African descent, their families, and communities.”

Givens speaks directly about the club’s purpose here on campus. She states, “On campus, we are really just here to like invite everyone to learn more about things that are going on in the black communities, such as health or even social things that are happening.” She also explained that the club is working to build up the Multicultural Center on campus as well as bring more underclassmen into the club. Currently, the club’s president is Clarisse Irampayne. The vice president is Cora Cotson. The secretary is Mekelle Brathwaite. And the treasurer is Raziya Givens.

How can I join the club? 

Anyone can join the NCNW, no matter their gender, race, or ethnicity. Givens states, “Normally, people will hear the word woman or hear the word negro and think it has to be a black woman or a black male. It doesn’t; it can be anyone.” The club is open to anyone and everyone who wants to join, listen, and learn.

The four board members of Bloomsburg’s NCNW chapter at the African American History Museum in Washington, DC. Photo submitted by Raziya Givens.

The NCNW meets on Wednesday nights, every other week, from 5:30–6:30. Club meetings are held in the Kehr Union building in either multipurpose room A or B. The club currently has 26 members, about 15 of whom regularly attend meetings. Givens also explained that the club is a closed organization, which means “you are a paid member, so you would have to pay $5 a semester or $10 for the whole year to be a member collegiately and then $10 [to be a member] nationally.” Therefore, it costs $20 per year to be an official member of this organization.

What to expect at club meetings? 

A typical club meeting usually begins with an informational session, where club members learn about a specific topic in black culture. This is the main message of the meeting and includes the main information club members should learn. Then, the second half of the club meeting involves playing a game or doing an activity that is related to the message or the information learned at the beginning of the meeting.

If students attend a meeting of the NCNW, students should expect “to learn something but then also to have fun, meet brand new people that you have probably never seen before on campus but now you are seeing.” Givens also explains that the club includes many students in various years, which lends itself well to mentorships within the club.


Looking into her time in the club, Givens initially joined the NCNW because she felt she had to find people that she could relate to. She states, “That group was just filled with a whole bunch of black women who just were empowering each other and I was just like I want to be a part of it.” As a member of the club, Givens had the opportunity to go to Harrisburg last semester and meet some of the upper-level administration members of the organization, which she really enjoyed. She expressed that this gave her a great opportunity to network with people she never would have met before.

Raziya Givens, the treasurer of Bloomsburg’s chapter of the National Council of Negro Women. Photo by Maddie Bolger.

Givens is now the treasurer of Bloomsburg’s NCNW chapter. She says that while she knew this would be a role she would enjoy, she also took the position because the spot needed to be filled. Every member of the board of the club from last year had graduated, so those spots needed to be filled, or the club “was going to die.” Speaking about the club, Givens says she believes it is beneficial to the Bloomsburg campus, so  “being a part of the board, keeping it alive, is what we are really trying to focus on.”

Follow Bloomsburg’s chapter of NCNW on Instagram here. Be sure to attend a meeting to learn more about what this club is all about.

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Maddie Bolger, Multimedia Journalist

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