November 7, 2020 is a truly historic and herstoric day in our nation. As a candidate for the presidency of the United States, Vice President Joseph R. Biden broke the record of President Obama for the most votes ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate. And Senator Kamala Harris will be the very first woman, the very first Black woman and the very first woman of South Asian descent to serve as the Vice President of our country.

Dear National Council of Negro Women family, thank you for doing all that you did during this election season. You worked to get out the vote, you served as poll monitors, and you exercised your own right to vote. Over these last few months in our sections across the country, you my sisters participated in collaborations and coalitions, you taught basic civics to first time voters, and you donated your time, talent and treasure to the noble cause of getting out the vote. Once again, we Black women were souls who went to the polls in very large numbers. Once again, we Black women heeded the call of our President Emerita Dr. Dorthy Irene Height when she said that Black women always do what we have to do.

The people have spoken. And now our voices must be heard and heeded in the interest of creating a more promising future.There is much that will be demanded of each of us to address the divisiveness in our nation, and to support the continuing American project of becoming a more perfect union. NCNW must play a role in unifying our nation while systematically working for women’s rights and civil rights, indeed for human rights. We must speak up and speak out on issues of criminal justice reform, climate change, health care, poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic. As Black women we must honor our responsibility to work for a better world for our children. And as our founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune did in her day, we must do our part to help our nation to be a true beacon of freedom and equality.

Onward!
Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph. D.
National Chair and Seventh President, NCNW

The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) mission is to lead, empower and advocate for women of African descent, their families and communities.