100 Plus Black Women Coalition of Beaumont, Inc.
“ The Power of 100 Plus, Uniting as One for Us”
One Hundred Plus Black Women Coalition of Beaumont, Inc. is a networking, educating, uniting, and empowering grassroots organization in which African American women address and resolve some issues that concern African American women, our families, and our communities. The members of the 100+BWC are dedicated to improving the quality of life for women by developing strategic plans to address educational, economical, political, social, health, and technological opportunities and challenges.
In 1996, then Ward 4 City Councilwoman Bobbie J. Patterson (1995-2007) felt there was a need to have a grassroots organization (as a caucus, think tank, coalition, clearinghouse, and /or forum) for African American men and one for African American women. The organizations would include representatives from each of the African American churches, sororities, fraternities, social and civic organizations, professions, businesses, stay-at-home-moms, and retirees.
Councilwoman Patterson then hosted two receptions, one to discuss forming 100 Black Women and one to discuss forming 100 Black Men. The attendance together was approximately 100 men and women. She introduced her vision to the two groups who were very receptive and excited. However, no one wanted to be the leader of each of the organizations. The women wanted Councilwoman Patterson to organize the women’s coalition and be the president.
Councilwoman Patterson had recently broken her ankle and had surgery which took longer to heal than she thought. Several ladies continued to urge her to form the women’s group and to be the chairperson. Councilwoman Patterson was also serving her first term as a city councilmember of Beaumont, Texas and decided that she should not take on both those tasks at that time.
Throughout the next few years, Councilwoman Patterson was often approached about starting the 100+BWC. So in late 2003, she shared her vision with Councilman Audwin Samuel. She became so excited and motivated about her conversation with him and she felt that this was the right time to do this. She also talked to a few other women, who were very supportive of her idea. She then formed a “Committee to Organize.”
In June 2004, Councilwoman Patterson and the “Committee to Organize” set up their first oganizational meeting on July 29, 2004. Thereafter, she met with 10-20 small groups of women each month until she reached over 100 women who were interested in being a part of this kind of organization.
In September 2004, Councilwoman Bobbie Patterson hosted a dinner meeting to bring all of the small groups of women together to share her vision, purpose and plans. Thus, the organization was formed. The “Committee to Organize” included Carolyn Beverly, Rhonda Hopson, Frances Gallow, Balinda Cooper, Bernitta Jackson, Rosetta Jones, Glenda Lacy, Isabell Fusilier, and Bobbie Patterson. The meetings were held twice a month on every other Tuesday at the L. L. Melton YMCA at 6:30 p.m. We had our 2nd annual membership recruitment dinner meeting on September 20, 2005. On September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita hit Beaumont; we did not meet again until January 2006.
Since 2006, the meetings have been held on the third Monday of each month. Our meetings are at 5:45 p.m. at the Theodore Johns Library.