In 1896, Terrell became the first president of the newly formed National Association of Colored Women (NACW), whose members established day nurseries and kindergartens, and helped orphans. Also in 1896, she founded the National Association of College Women, which later became the National Association of University Women (NAUW).
Historians have generally emphasized Terrell’s role as an activist and community leader during the Progressive Era. She also had a prosperous career as a journalist (she identified as a writer). Using the pen name “Euphemia Kirk,” she published in both the black and white press to promote the African American Women’s Club Movement (Terrell, 1940).
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