Janice L. Mathis
Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women in 2016
Janice L. Mathis, from Greenville, SC, was appointed Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women in 2016. NCNW was founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune and is an affiliation of national black women’s groups including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated, Eastern Stars, National Black Nurses Association, Continental Societies more than thirty others. NCNW headquarters is the historic Dorothy I. Height building at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. Janice is responsible for implementing NCNW’s Lead, Advocate Empower mission by activating its Four for the Future program of Education, Health, Entrepreneurship and Values. NCNW represents the hopes and aspirations of at least 3,000,000 women.
Previously, Janice was Vice President for Legal Affairs for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, where she spearheaded civil rights and diversity initiatives and negotiated agreements with many Fortune 500 firms. She is a former member of both the Georgia Power Company Diversity Advisory Council and the Coca-Cola Supplier Diversity Council. In 2015, Janice led a successful effort to include diverse contractors in $3 billion dollars’ worth of state funded transportation contracts in Georgia. More than a dozen African Americans gained seats on corporate boards as a direct result of her efforts.
Janice testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the crack/powder cocaine disparity and before the UN Commission to End Racial Discrimination in Geneva. She organized and led a national fight based in Atlanta to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2005 and was instrumental in urging Greenville County, SC to become one of the final counties in the nation to recognize the Martin Luther King Holiday.
Janice and her sister Davida Mathis host Sisters in Law on News and Talk 1380 WAOK, a legal advice program, and they blog at sistersinlaw.blogspot.com. She serves on the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s national Social Action Commission. Janice formerly served as a member of the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee and on the national board of the League of Women Voters of the U.S.
She is included in several editions of the Most Influential Blacks in Atlanta; in 2009 she was named one of 25 Most Influential Women in Atlanta by Rolling Out magazine and received the Fannie Lou Hamer award from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. In 2008, the Georgia Informer named her one of the 50 Most Influential women in Georgia. The Gate City Bar presented her its R.E. Thomas Civil Rights Award in 2009. In 1996 she was a Centennial Olympic Community Hero and carried the Olympic Torch a portion of its way through Athens, GA. Good Housekeeping Magazine named her “One Hundred Young Women of Promise” in 1989. She is a graduate of Leadership Georgia. Janice is a member of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. Janice earned Bachelors of Arts degrees in both economics and public policy studies at Duke University in only three years and was a recipient of the prestigious Angier Biddle Duke Scholarship. Janice studied British Politics and History at Oxford University in England and finished law school at UGA.
The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of 36 national African American women’s organizations and more than 230 community and campus based sections. NCNW’s mission is to lead, empower and advocate for nearly three million women , their families and communities. We seek to harness the collective power of women of African descent, so that they may realize their full potential and create a just society that enhances the quality of life for all people.