Black News and News Makers in History: Jewell Jackson McCabe

Black news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Jewell Jackson McCabe this week in Black history.Jewell Jackson McCabe was the first president of the Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Jewell Jackson was born on August 2, 1945, in Washington, DC into a family of trailblazers.  In her youth, she studied classical ballet and jazz.  She was selected to attend New York City's High School of the Performing Arts. After graduation, she continued her dance studies at Bard College from 1961 until 1963.  

Using her dance skills for the good of society, she participated in an inner city program aimed to curb antisocial behavior by exposing teens to culture and the arts and she was also a dance instructor in a program for troubled girls.

In 1970, she became director of public affairs for the New York Urban Coalition. She also became a member of a new organization founded by her mother, the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women. The group, with less than 30 members on its first roster, was based on a men's organization with a similar name.  Their first goal, accomplished by the mid-1970s, was to find 100 black businesswomen in the New York metropolitan area who would be willing to join and help with the group’s mission to provide support and encourage to black female entrepreneurs. 

In 1973, she became public relations officer for New York City's Special Services for Children and found herself promoting exactly the kind of programs she had participated in as a volunteer.

In 1975, she accepted an assignment as associate public information director with the statewide Women's Division of the Office of the Governor. This experience in turn led to a job with WNET-TV, New York's public broadcasting station, where she worked as director of government and community affairs between 1977 and 1982.

Energetic and committed to improving both her local community and the lot of black women in a larger arena. She served on numerous advisory boards and affiliated herself with organizations as diverse as the United Way, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the United Hospital Fund, and the Association for a Better New York.  Somehow she found time to produce two monthly newsletters, ‘Give a Damn’, published by the New York Urban Coalition between 1970 and 1973, and ‘Women in New York’, a state publication from 1975 until 1977.

In 1978, McCabe assumed the presidency of the organization her mother had started and pledged to take it to a national level.

Recognition for McCabe's work as a volunteer began as early as 1980, when she served as deputy grand marshal of the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade in New York City. She also received citations from the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and Malcolm/King College.

As a businesswoman in New York City, she has always advocated for the advancement of African Americans and women.

"I consider myself a leader for all women."  Chicago Tribune.

By 1981, she had organized the National Coalition of 100 Black Women into chapters in some 22 states as a leadership forum to engage professional black women in a network to meet their career needs, the needs of their communities, and to facilitate their access to mainstream America.  Its membership included prominent professionals and community leaders, bound together for mutual support and encouragement. Among those who joined the coalition were such well-known black women as poet Maya Angelou, Spelman College president Johnetta Cole, Arthenia Joyner, the former president of the National Bar Association, and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, the first black Congresswoman from California.

Once established, the non-profit group began to work on community issues affecting women. Programs have included mentoring services for disadvantaged women of any race, especially teen mothers; co-sponsorship of Time to Read, a middle school literacy program; political activism on reproductive rights issues and reproductive rights education; and the Literacy and Life Skills Development Program, aimed at helping young adults prepare to enter the working world. The group serves as a support system for successful black women and carries on lobbying and public relations work on women’s issues. 

McCabe served as president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women from 1981 until 1991. She then stepped down but remains an important figure in the organization as its chairman of the board. McCabe contended in the Chicago Tribune that her organization is a natural outgrowth of a supportive network among black women that has existed for generations. "We called it a grapevine. It's been going on since slavery, since the days of the Underground Railroad," she said. Nevertheless, she observed in Ebony that the National Coalition of 100 Black Women is also a forum for the contemporary black woman who seeks professional and political clout. "I think we are different from the women of the '60s," she explained. "We don't feel guilty about being accomplished. In this country, there are older women who come up to you and say, 'You are what we were working so long to create. What you young women are doing is what we always wanted to do.'”

Each year the group presents ten Candace (pronounced "Can-day-say") Awards to black women who have made important strides in the arts, science, technology, and business. The award is named after the Ethiopian term for "queen," and recipients have included opera singer Kathleen Battle and philanthropist Camille Cosby.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women has more than 7,000 members with 62 chapters in 25 states and an annual operating budget of $125,000.

In 1993, she was a finalist for the executive directorship of the NAACP, one of the first black women to be considered for that important post, but was not chosen for the job.

With wide-ranging experience in the public and private sectors, Ms. McCabe is a businesswoman and consultant to major corporations, cultural and civic institutions; serves on a variety of boards; and is a presidential, gubernatorial and mayoral appointee.

Ebony magazine has profiled McCabe not only from a professional perspective but also a private one, highlighting her fitness regimen and her glamorous but busy lifestyle. "McCabe has become such a major player on Gotham's exclusive, highly competitive scene that her photograph has begun appearing on the social pages of the New York Times," John Robinson noted in the Boston Globe. "The hallmarks of McCabe's style are glamour, clout, commitment and unflinching determination to empower women of color and [their] communities."

She has had gubernatorial appointments in the state of New York. Perhaps the most important of these was chairmanship of the $205-million, 46-member Jobs Training Partnership Council, a program that provides education and skills training to some 50,000 people in New York every year. McCabe has also served on the New York State Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities, the Tax Reform Committee, and the New York State Council on Families, where she was assigned to the Committee on Teen Pregnancy Prevention.  Her mayoral appointments include membership on the New York City Commission on the Status of Women.

In addition to these state affiliations, she has served on the advisory boards of a number of private nonprofit and for-profit corporations, including the Economic Club of New York and the National Alliance of Business.  Appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Ms. McCabe serves on the Council’s Education and Community Outreach Committee and Committee on Conscience.

McCabe is also president of Jewell Jackson McCabe Associates, a New York City consulting firm specializing in strategic communications.  The firm advises on government relations, marketing to minorities, and special issues and events. McCabe told Fortune that she wants to "establish a common ground between the public and private sectors." Her client list includes IBM, American Express, Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (Panasonic), the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and the Associated Black Charities.

McCabe shares her varied expertise and knowledge as a member of the boards of Alight.Com, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Manhattan, the New York City Investment Fund, L.I.C. and Reliance Group Holdings, Inc.

She has received two honorary doctorates and a number of other awards for the accomplishments she has reaped from her "enjoyment of diversity."

Awards include:

  • Eastern Region Urban League Guild Award, 1979;
  • Seagrams Civic Award, 1980;
  • Links Civic Award, 1980;
  • Outstanding community leadership award, Malcolm/King College, 1980.

Memberships include:

  • New York Urban League,
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
  • New York City Planned Parenthood,
  • New York City Commission on the Status of Women.

To young women and men alike, Ms. McCabe shares her philosophy: “There is no formula for success . . . One must manage expectations with an understanding that in order to be in the right place at the right time, one may have to be in the wrong place 90 percent of the time. In other words, your effort must be 24/7: 365.”

Compiled from http://www.answers.com/topic/jewell-jackson-mccabe and http://www.dom.com/about/education/strong/2002/mccabe.jsp.


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Black News and News Makers in History

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4/11/1888: Edward Park Duplex elected Wheatland CA mayor. Believed to be first African American mayor of predominantly white U.S. town.

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4/12/1913: Lionel Hampton, musician (recorded with Louis Armstrong, worked with Benny Goodman, & responsible for introducing vibraphone to jazz) & bandleader, born.

4/12/1966: Emmett Ashford becomes first Black Major League Baseball umpire.

4/12/1981: Joe Louis, world heavyweight boxing champion for nearly 12 years prior to 1949 retirement, dies.

4/12/1989: Sugar Ray Robinson, five-time world middleweight boxing championship winner & unbeaten welterweight champion, dies.

4/13/1669: Emmanuel, baptized by New York Lutheran congregation.

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4/13/1964: Sidney Poitier wins Best Actor Academy Award for Lilies of the Field role.

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4/15/1896: Booker T. Washington gains honorary degree from Harvard University. Read More.

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4/16/1862: President Abraham Lincoln signs bill ending slavery in District of Columbia—nine months before he issues Emancipation Proclamation.

4/16/1994: Ralph Ellison, "Invisible Man" author, dies.


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