Document 19: Constitution of the Colored Young Women's Christian Association, 1896, unprocessed collection of YWCA of Greater Baltimore, 128 W. Franklin Street.

Introduction

   The Colored Young Women's Christian Association of the City of Baltimore was founded in 1896.  While technically not a member of the national YWCA organization, it performed many of the same services for the black women of the city.  Separated by race from the YWCA of Baltimore, the CWYCA, nonetheless, reflected the same middle-class reform ideals.  Notice the emphasis on providing for the needs of working class women and help them better themselves. For comparison see Document 3, the 1883 constitution of the Baltimore Y.W.C.A.

CONSTITUTION.

____________

ARTICLE I

    Section 1.  This Association shall be called THE COLORED YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION of the City of Baltimore.

    Sec. 2.  The object of this Association is to help the young women in our community to a better and truer womanhood; to encourage them to make the  most of themselves in mind, body and soul; to teach them to find the sweetness of life and its compensations even under the most adverse and discouraging circumstances.  To bring about these conditions we offer them a Christian home.

    The aim is to make the rooms a place for social gatherings where young women who have no homes in the city may spend a pleasant evening and feel that there, welcome and cheer, love and protection are always to be found.

    It is a mission field, too; where many are comforted and saved, and where a sympathizing friend is always in attendance.  It is especially our aim to assist our girls to fit themselves for better positions in life.

    There is no class of people so helpless, or who stand so much in need of wise friends as the many young girls who leave their country homes and the care of parents, to seek work in the city,  Their ignorance of evil renders them more liable to fall into the many traps set for their unwary feet.  It is to this class, most especially, that the Colored Young Women's Christian Association wishes to extend it most careful attention.

    Sec.3.  The Colored Young Women's Christian Association is strictly undenominational.

ARTICLE II.

    Section 1.  Any woman of good moral character may become a member by recording her full name and address and by the payment of one dollar annually.

ARTICLE III.

    Section 1.  The Board of Managers shall consist of twenty-four women.  From among these the members shall elect a President, six Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and an Assistant Secretary.

    Sec. 2.  The President and officers, with the chairmen of all standing committees, shall constitute an Executive Committee.

    Sec. 3.  There shall be an Advisory Board of five men, who shall be elected annually by the Board of Managers.

ARTICLE IV.

    Section 1.  The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint the chairmen and members of all committees, have general oversight of all work of the Association and be ex-officio a member of all committees.

    Sec. 2.  The first Vice-President shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President; the second Vice-President, in absence of the 1st, and so on.

    Sec. 3.  The Treasurer shall hold all money of the Association and authorize its expenditures with the approval of President and Executive Committee.

    Sec. 4.  The Secretary shall record the minutes of the business meetings and prepare the annual report.

    Sec. 5.  The Assistant Secretary shall have charge of the membership roll and assist at the business meetings.

    Sec. 6.  There shall be but one President, one Treasurer and one Banking Committee for this Association.

ARTICLE V.

    Section 1.  All members shall serve on one or more committees, if appointed, and shall endeavor to increase the membership of the Association and raise funds for its support.

ARTICLE VI.

    Section 1.  The monthly meeting of the Board of Managers shall be on the second Thursday of each moth at 8:30 P.H.

    Sec. 2.  The Executive Committee shall meet on the first Thursday of each month, and at such times as summoned by the President.

    Sec. 3.  The annual meeting shall be held in February.

    Sec. 4.  Twelve members shall constitute a quorum at the annual meeting, seven for the Board of Managers and five for the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VII

    Section 1.  The Helping Hand Committee shall help raise funds for the work of the Association and assist with the religious services on the fourth Sunday of each month.

    Sec. II.  The Religious Committee composed of the King's Daughters and other members of the Association shall do the charitable work of the Association, have charge of the Bible Class, and assist with the religious services on the second Sunday of each month.

    Sec. 3.  The willing Workers are expected to bring in new members and assist with the religious services the third Sunday of each month.

    Sec. 4.  The Industrial Committee shall have charge of the Employment Bureau and all classes in domestic science.

    Sec. 5.  The Home Circle shall be composed of all the girls in the Home and shall be under the direction of the Matron.  Its object shall be to create an interest and unite the girls in the work of the Home.

    Sec. 6.  The Flower Committee shall solicit money for furnishing fruit and flowers for sick members of the Association.

ARTICLE VIII.

    This Constitution may be altered or amended at any meeting of the Association, by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, provided due notice shall have been given of such intended change at a previous meeting.

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