IN THE SPIRIT OF OUR ANCESTORS
THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN
AN ECAC CIRCLE MEMBER TODAY
You are invited to join a growing circle of supporters who share a vision
of an engaged, sustainable community either with the one time donation or buying a monthly subscription.
Our story begins in 1863, when in the midst of major social and economic
upheaval created by the Civil War, a small group of women gathered to create
a new model of education for Black women and children. Through long
years of commitment and sacrifice, thousands of children benefitted from
their efforts. 2003 marked the end of 140 years of service of their
organization, the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Women
and Children. Their legacy was passed on to the Emergence Community
Arts Collective through the late Dr. Joseph McKinney, who donated the building
at 733 Euclid St. NW to the ECAC.
Since 2006, the Emergence Community Arts Collective has been a hub of
social activity and civic engagement in our neighborhood of Pleasant Plains.
In this new era of change, communities are taking charge of their destiny,
seeking new ways to become more self-sufficient and independent.
ECAC has been a catalyst for this movement, working at the grass-roots
level to empower the human spirit. Our 21st century model of community
- Intergenerational and intercultural social engagement
- Volunteerism and resource sharing
- Environmental sustainability
- Historical and cultural education
- Civic engagement
In 2008 over 2,200 children and adults participated in dance, alternative
diets, community meetings, martial arts, 12 step programs, free tax preparation
and many other activities we offer at the center. Many more donated
over 750 hours of volunteer service. Although we have done much to capture
the spirit of service at ECAC, we won’t survive without financial support.
joining our Giving Circle, you will be supporting our efforts to remain
in service to the community for the next 100 years. You will also
receive a small token of our appreciation, recognition in our annual report,
website and fundraising events, and an invitation to our annual circle
gathering. Your donation is tax-deductible and may be made via check
to ECAC or online.
ECAC Giving Circles
The ECAC stands on the shoulders of prominent African-American
leaders who sustained the National Association for the Relief
of Destitute Colored Women and Children throughout its 140
year history. We honor them now as Circle Leaders so that they will
be remembered throughout time as ECAC continues their journey into the
21st century. Your membership in a Giving Circle will help ECAC sustain
our daily operation, increase our programming and outreach, maintain
affordability, and model environmental sustainability.
The Dr. Rebecca Cole Sustainer
Dr. Rebecca Cole was the
second female physician in the US, graduating from the Woman’s Medical
College in 1867. In January of 1899,
Dr. Cole was appointed superintendent of a home run by the National
Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children.
The Dr. Rebecca Cole Sustainer Circle is so named for the day to day
activities she performed in order to sustain the center’s operations.
Forten Grimke Capacity Circle $250
Charlotte Forten Grimke, a teacher
in Salem Massachusetts, was born into a close-knit family of activist
abolitionists and feminists. In 1862 she was told of a “social
experiment” in South Carolina to prove the educability of Blacks, and
she became one of the first Black teachers to arrive in the South after
the Civil War. Between 1882 and 1884, she served on the Board of
Managers of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored
Women and Children, and again from 1902-1906. The Charlotte Forten
Grimke Capacity Circle is so named because of her efforts to help Blacks
increase their skills and confidence.
Josephine Beall Bruce Builder Circle $500
Josephine Beall Bruce is most known
for her work as a college administrator, her presence in the black woman’s
club movement, and her activities in Washington, D.C.’s social circle.
From 1882-1885, Bruce was Vice-President of the National Association
for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children. The Josephine
Bealle Bruce Builder Circle is named for ECAC’s efforts to unite a community
using the building blocks of arts, education, civic and social activities.
The Helen Appo Cook
Leadership Circle $1,500
Helen Appo Cook is best known for her contributions as long-term president
of the Colored Women’s League and organizer in establishing the National
Association of Colored Women. Cook was noted for being the first Black
secretary of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored
Women and Children in 1880 and served until 1910 in various capacities. The
Helen Appo Cook Leadership Circle is named for the responsibilities
involved in setting the direction of a community organization.
The Marie Key Pathfinder
Marie Key was the director of the Meriwether Home for Children, which
later evolved in to the Key Day Care Center in 1975. Key Day
Care was formed in response to a nation-wide shortage of day care facilities
to meet the needs of parents of pre-school children who had to work
full time. The Marie Key Pathfinder Circle is named for her ability
to transform the organization to meet the demands the community was
facing at the time.
The Mary L. Meriwether
Pioneer Circle $10,000
Mrs. Mary Louise Meriwether was an active
participant in the Association since 1884, serving on the Board of Managers
from 1884 until at least 1910, was President in 1915, and Secretary in
1927. As the functions of the Association on the Banneker site
were winding down, Marie Meriwether purchased the building at 733 Euclid
St., built the two story addition and continued the operation as the
Meriwether Home for Destitute Children. The Marie Meriwether Pioneer
Circle is named for Ms. Meriwether’s vision to keep the work of the Association
alive on a new foundation.
The Dr. Joseph McKinney Legacy Circle $25,000
In 1975, Dr. Joseph McKinney was Chairman of the Board of the National
Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children
as the building they owned at 733 Euclid St. transformed into the Key
Day Care Center. After Dr. McKinney suffered a stroke, the Key
Day Care Center was unable to maintain the building and abandoned it
in 1999. Out of his desire to keep the building in service to
the community, Dr. McKinney generously donated 733 Euclid St. to the
Emergence Project in January 2003. He died September 16, 2005 after
a long illness. The Dr. Joseph McKinney Legacy Circle is named
for Dr. McKinney’s desire to continue the legacy of community service.
The Elizabeth Keckley Heritage Circle $50,000
Through perseverance and an enduring belief in her own self-worth,
Hobbs Keckley survived the horrors of slavery to be counted among the
ranks of African American leaders of her time and founded the Contraband
Relief Association in Washington, DC. She was active as a founder,
supporter and resident of the Association for the Relief of Destitute
Women and Children, where she died in 1907 at the age of 88 of a paralytic
stroke. The Elizabeth Keckley Heritage Circle is named for the
spirit of our ancestors who made such great sacrifices to ensure the
Black community had an opportunity to thrive.
What are the benefits of becoming a Circle Member?
Circle members will be recognized in our annual reports, on our website,
at our center and at our fundraising events. Free participation in ECAC
sponsored events and tickets to fundraiser events will be offered depending
on the circle level. All Circle Members will be invited to an annual Circle