Thirty-seven black women professionals and residents have formed the Baton Rouge area’s first chapter of the National Congress of Black Women — a group that will discuss quality-of-life issues facing black families.

“We recognize the great need of service in the African-American community … so this is another arm of service to that population but also to women in general,” said the local chapter’s president, Dr. Lue Russell.

The chapter commemorated its founding on Saturday night in a ceremony at the State Capitol led by the organization’s national leader, Dr. E. Faye Williams.

The chapter’s membership — which includes attorneys, professors and researchers — will meet every second Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and will discuss local issues such as child literacy and education. The group also plans to meet with teachers, parents and children.

The national group’s agenda recently has focused on sex trafficking and domestic violence, Russell said.

The chapter’s members live in East Baton Rouge Parish and several neighboring parishes, but women outside those parishes can join as at-large members.