Over 35 professional and lay black women have joined together to form Baton Rouge’s First Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women, organizers said.

The chapter will be officially charted at 6 p.m.,Saturday during a ceremony at Capital Park Welcome Center, 702 River Road.

National Congress of Black Women President Dr. E. Faye Williams will officiate the ceremony.

The Baton Rouge Chapter, named The Greater Baton Rouge Region Chapter, covers East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Ascension Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes.

Women who live in these parishes are eligible to join as full chapter members. Others who live outside of these six parishes can join as at-large members. It is the focus of Chapter Chairwoman Dr. Lue Russell to help establish other chapters across Louisiana. 

Organizers said the local chapter of the National Congress of Black Women will focus its efforts to assure “healthy children and thriving families” for all of Louisiana people especially black women and their children.

Founding charter members include Audrey Alexander, Wanda August, Mary Bailey, Hollis Baker-Graves, Pama Barber, Alfreda Tillman Bester, Belinda Parker Brown, Natasha Brown, Dr. LeTedra Collins, Cynthia Buggage, Keisha Fleming, Shante Drewery Foster, Tamiko Garrison, Tamiko Graves, Kathe Hambrick Jackson, Dr. Cheria Lane-Mackey, Marva Matthews, Marla Newman, Dr. Aisha Noble, Barbara Obear, Nakeda Payton, Mary Pines, Joyce Plummer, Minimiah Rahman, Keysha Dominick Richard, Debra T. Rodgers, Valarie N. Rodgers, Dr. Lue Russell, Cherolyn Russell, Karol Russell, Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, Alma Stewart, Tamiko Stroud, Dr. April Stull, Regenia Taylor, Allisha Thomas, Sharonda Watts and Charie Worley.