Women's History Month - Selina Sloan Butler - PTSA Founder

Selena Sloan Butler is the founder and first president of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers Association. She was appointed by President Herbert Hoover to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection in 1929. During World War II, she organized the Red Cross’ first black women’s chapter of “Gray Ladies.”

When Congress merged the NCCPT with the National PTA in 1970, Butler was posthumously recognized as one of the organization’s founders. Today, Butler is considered a co-founder of the National Parent-Teacher Association.

In 1919, segregated school systems that existed in the South led to the founding of the Georgia Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers by Selina Sloan Butler. Mrs. Butler wrote to National PTA for information and literature on PTA work; response was immediate and liberal. To show its appreciation, Georgia Congress contributed 10 dollars annually to National PTA until the National Colored Congress was organized

In 1922, National PTA committee appointed to assist and strengthen PTAs already formed in connection with schools for African-American children in segregated states

On May 7th, 1926, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers forms. Mrs. A. H. Reeve, National PTA president, helped set up a new organization, which followed closely the pattern of National PTA—calling itself the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers and adopting the same Objects as National PTA. NCCPT was to function only in the District of Columbia and those states where separate schools for the races were maintained so that African-American children might have PTA service. National PTA committee with state counterparts appointed to assist African-American people in organizing PTAs.

Mrs. Selena Sloan Butler, founder, first NCCPT president. President Herbert Hoover would later appoint her to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection in 1929. During World War II, she organized the Red Cross' first black women's chapter of "Gray Ladies." When Congress merged the NCCPT with the National PTA in 1970, Butler was posthumously recognized as one of the organization's founders.

In 1927, First NCCPT annual convention, Nashville, Tenn.; constitution and bylaws were adopted

In 1931, Mrs. M.W. Blocker elected National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers president. State congresses were urged to observe not only the birthday of NCCPT but also February 17, Founders Day of parent-teacher movement. Publication of Our National Family, official magazine of NCCPT, began. NCCPT urged that African-Americans in segregated schools be made assistant superintendents and members of boards of education and be given administrative authority so as to be able to protect the educational interest of all African-Americans in their communities. Five-hour school of instruction given to delegates of NCCPT convention by National PTA leaders

In 1935, Mrs. Essie Mack elected NCCPT president. Program to increase NCCPT memberships (around 45,000 at this time) and to improve the relationship between parents and teachers. To increase her efficiency as a leader, Mrs. Mack enrolled at Louisville Municipal College on a scholarship provided by NCCPT

At the 1944 National PTA convention, under the convention theme banner, “All Children are Our Children, ”the delegates welcomed Eleanor Roosevelt as keynote speaker, who addressed the national gathering, including, for the first time in the PTA's history, the president of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, who also spoke to the delegates. At this convention, the National PTA became one of the first groups to support the establishment of an organization dedicated to ensuring international peace (later to become the United Nations).

In 1970, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (National PTA) and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT)—founded by Selena Sloan Butler in Atlanta, Ga.—merged to serve all children. Ms. Clara Gay, former NCCPT president, elected to National PTA Board of Managers


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