History of the Junior Civic League

The Junior Civic League (JCL) was organized in the spring of 1952 by the Civic League.  The membership elected Geneva Fleming Mason as its first President. The organization’s meetings were held in the Belmont YWCA and then in the member’s homes.

Charter Members were:

  • Mary Jane Cooper
  • Patricia Powell Gooden
  • Marvel Granberry Flint
  • Eleanor Taylor Hughey
  • Geneva Fleming Mason
  • Carol Foreman Oliver
  • Georgia Smith
  • Barbara Boyd Snipes
  • Haydee Street
  • Nadine Johnson Stewart
  • Helen Thomas
  • Betty Granberry Vaughn
  • Theresa Coleman Wallace
  • Henrietta Wainwright
  • Juanita Fleming Williams

The Civic League organized the Junior Civic League for the sole purpose of needing younger women to continue operating the Rhoda Johnson Well Baby Clinic, which they organized and operated for many years at the West Federal Street YMCA. The Clinic was named for Rhoda Johnson a community leader. The clinic provided free medical care to minority infants and young children free of charge for those needing this service. Each week the clinic serviced 50 to 100 babies, where capable Doctors volunteered their time. To name a few: Dr. W.P. Young, Dr. Bertie B. Burrows, and Dr. Henry Ellison. All infant immunization shots were provided and complete records kept on all babies in need. The Junior Civic League members volunteered their time weekly for many years continuing the service started by The Civic League until this service was no longer a necessity having been replaced by the State Welfare system and free medical clinics established in our local hospitals.

The purpose of the Junior Civic League is to create an interest in the health, educational and civic affairs of the community and to promote a better understanding of the affairs pertaining to the betterment of our community. The JCL Motto, “Decide at once upon a noble purpose, then take it up bravely, bear it off joyfully, lay it down triumphantly!” This motto was submitted by Henrietta Wainwright and adopted unanimously by the membership. The JCL Motto has been a guiding principle and commitment of the organization since its inception. The Junior Civic League is one of Youngstown’s oldest and prestigious African-American women’s organizations who are dedicated to volunteerism and community service. Thousands of hours of volunteer service by the membership is still ongoing today in our community charitable and nonprofit organizations.

Past Presidents

1952-1953Geneva F. Mason
1953-1954Haydee Street
1954-1955Clarabel McDuffie
1955-1956Georgia Smith
1956-1957Elizabeth Irby
1957-1958Marvel Flint
1958-1959Marvel Granberry
1962-1963Barbara Snipes
1963-1964Evelyn Williams
1964-1965Thelma Guilford
1966-1967Georgia Smith
1967-1968Barbara Snipes
1968-1969Nadine Stewart
1969-1970Elizabeth Irby
1970-1971Eleanor Hughey
1972-1973Mary E. Floyd
1973-1974Caesra Williams
1974-1975Caesra Williams
1975-1977Clarabel McDuffie
1977-1979Elizabeth Jenkins
1979-1981Flora Pulliam
1981-1983Erma Edmondson
1983-1985Mary Jane Dixon
1985-1987Germaine Bennett
1987-1989Ann Cobbin
1989-1991Juanita Davis
1991-1993Chithea Summers
1998-2000Chithea Summers
2000-2002Betty Bogan
2002-2004Phyllis Cross
2004-2006Molly Seals
2006-2008Betty Scott
2008-2010Elsina Winston
2010-2012Cynthia L. Mason
2012-2014Susan Moorer
2014-2016Susan Moorer
2016-2018Frances Curd