History of the Junior Civic League

The Junior Civic League (JCL) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was formed in the February of 1952 by the Civic League.  The Junior Civic League held it's first official business meeting on the second Sunday in April. The Junior Civic League celebrates this date as it's Founders Day. 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for many years continuing the service started by The Civic League until this service was no longer a necessity having been replaced by the State Welfare system and free medical clinics established in our local hospitals.

2023 Junior Civic League Founders Day 2023 Junior Civic League Founders DayThe 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 (Charter Member)
1953-1954Haydee Street (Charter Member)
1954-1955Clarabel McDuffie 
1955-1956Georgia Smith (Charter Member)
1956-1957Elizabeth Irby
1957-1958Marvel Flint (Charter Member)
1958-1959Carol Oliver (Charter Member)
1959-1960 Theresa Wallace (Charter Member)
1960-1961 Ruth Williams
1961-1962 Juanita F. Williams (Charter Member)
1962-1963Barbara Snipes (Charter Member)
1963-1964Evelyn Williams
1964-1965Thelma Guilford
1965-1966Georgia Smith (Charter Member)
1966-1967Georgia Smith (Charter Member)
1967-1968Barbara Snipes 
1968-1969Nadine Stewart
1969-1970Elizabeth Irby
1970-1971Eleanor Hughey (Charter Member)
1972-1973Mary E. Floyd
1973-1974Caesra Williams
1974-1976Caesra Williams
1976-1978Clarabel McDuffie
1978-1980Elizabeth Jenkins
1980-1982Flora Pulliam
1982-1984Juanita F. Williams (Charter Member)
1984-1986Mary Jane Dixon
1986-1988Germaine Bennett
1988-1990Ann Cobbin
1990-1992Juanita Davis
1992-1994Bettye Morrison
1994-1996Lois Thornton
1996-1998Denise Johnson
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
2018-2020Jenita Gillespie
2020-2022Jenita Gillespie
2022-2024Jenita Gillespie