Dr. Meda Chamberlain was a trailblazer and activist all of her adult life. She attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Bishop College in her native state of Texas.
The vibrant and ambitious Meda landed in Los Angeles in 1943 where she earned a Masters Degree and then a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Southern California. In 1962 Dr. Chamberlain was appointed by the late Dr. Dorothy Height to be the Executive Director of the Southern California region of the National Council of Negro Women.
Dr. Height and Dr. Chamberlain were instrumental in advocating for more African American women in government during President Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Dr. Chamberlain worked tirelessly to build the View Park section of the NCNW and successfully launched the first H.O.N.O. R. program (Helping Our Neighborhood’s Older Residents), the Los Angeles CETA program (Comprehensive Education and Training Act), and one of the first food co-ops in South Los Angeles.
Chamberlain ruled with compassion and authority spearheading the Education 2000 National Program focusing on math and science; and her career highlight was annual NCNW Black Family Reunion. This spirited cultural affair was held at Los Angeles’ Exposition Park from 1986- 1995. The festive weekend event made national news and drew thousands of attendees! Jobs, education, opportunity, and empowerment was the mantra for Meda Howard Chamberlain. Such was evidenced when she and NCNW member & international businesswoman Vida Kannike secured ownership of the now landmark NCNW house on 54th Street in Los Angeles. Dr. Chamberlain passed after a short illness on August 5, 2011 in Los Angeles. She was 94 and preceeded in death by her husband William who succomed in the late 1960’s. Services were held at St. Paul’s Baptist Church on August 13th.
The NCNW was founded in 1935 by Dr. Mary McCloud Bethune. The NCNW mission is to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. It is a worldwide effort with 39 national affiliates and 240 sections in the states. Dr. Meda Chamberlain’s legacy will continue through the NCNW View park section and the multiple NCNW sections that she influenced throughout Southern California and the nation. For more information or to become involved with this historic organization visit: www.ncnwviewpark.org Carolynn Martin is President of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. View Park Section.
Video: Dr. Chamberlain speaks with Mario Hemsley at the 1st NCNW View Park Section Gospel Concert 2009. Mrs. Chamberlain sites many of the great works of the NCNW:
Dr Meda Chamberlain – National Council of Negro… by paxstereo