Eight leading members of the National Congress of Black Women (NCBW) have sued
executive director E. Faye Williams for financial and other misconduct, including using NCBW
funds for personal expenses, failing to submit records for audit, and withholding material
information from members. The suit also charges Williams with conducting a sham election to
oust the members who sued NCBW’s board of directors. A D.C. Superior Court judge recently
denied Williams’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit and the case is proceeding.
“Upon becoming board chair, I was completely shocked and disillusioned at the massive
amount of mismanagement in the national office,” said Alberta Wilson, of Space Coast, Florida,
who became chair in late 2020. “I also was shocked at Dr. Williams’s disparagement of board
members who challenged her and her audacity in believing that she would not be held
accountable.” Evelyn Jenkins, of the Prince George County, Maryland chapter, added, “When I
became a part of the Board, my expectation was to see transparency, but what I found was
Ruth Gray, who was appointed treasurer by Wilson, played a principal role in uncovering
the mismanagement. “I had a fiduciary responsibility to be accountable to the members of
NCBW,” Gray said. Despite resistance from Williams, Gray took a deep dive into NCBW’s
financial situation and found previously undiscovered issues. Among other things, she found
that NCBW funds had been used to pay real estate taxes on Dr. Williams’s personal residence,
and to purchase shoes, manicures and other personal goods and services. “I had an obligation to
report my findings to the board and to make recommendations,” Gray said. Wilson, the
incoming chair, was particularly appalled to learn that Williams had made her nephew a
signatory to NCBW’s bank account.
NCBW was founded in 1984 by the late Brooklyn congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and
originally was named the National Political Congress of Black Women. It was renamed several
years later when the group moved away from a partisan political agenda to embrace a broader
spectrum of nonprofit activities aimed at improving the lives of African-American women. Its
signature public event is an annual brunch held during Black Caucus Weekend. NCBW is
headquartered in Washington, DC.
“We intend to restore integrity and transparency to this organization, in the spirit of our
founder, the Hon. Shirley Chisholm,” Wilson concluded.
A copy of the Complaint filed in D.C. Superior Court is attached