Since 1938, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated has been committed to stimulating children’s growth and development through educational, cultural, civic, health, recreational and social opportunities. That dedication remains today as we work toward improving the quality of life for all children, particularly African American children.
Here are some highlights from our eight decades of leadership and service.
In January 1938, Marion Stubbs Thomas organized a group of twenty-one mothers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the idea of establishing a social and cultural union for their children. Jack and Jill aims to prepare its members with a valuable adulthood by ingraining leadership qualities.
A Second and Third Chapter
The second “chapter” of Jack and Jill was established in New York City in 1939, and a third in Washington, D.C. in 1940.
A Time of Growth
Between 1944 and June 1, 1946—the birth date of the national organization, Jack and Jill saw expansion into to Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Columbus, Ohio; Durham, North Carolina; and Memphis, Tennessee.
A National Organization
June 1, 1946 representatives of eight of the ten groups present – Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Columbus, Baltimore and Boston set forth and they voted to formulate plans for a national organization, subject to the approval of their respective groups.
Constitution and Bylaws Drawn Up
The Constitution and Bylaws were drawn up by Attorney Charlotte Pinkett and Jack and Jill of America was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on August 28, 1947.
'Up the Hill' is First Published
Ida Murphy Smith edited the first issue of the official publication of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, Up the Hill, May 1948. Each of the fifteen chapters was represented in this issue through articles and pictures.
The First Teen Conference
The first Jack and Jill Teen Conference was held on June 16, 1951. A “Haitian Festival” hosted by the Philadelphia Chapter focused on the life in Haiti, the oldest Black republic in the world and the second oldest independent nation in the western hemisphere.
The Growth of Teen Conferences
Due to the success of the first teen conference and based on the suggestions from the teens contributed to the continuation of the annual conferences. The conferences provided constructive educational, recreational and social programs by and for the teens withing each geographical area.
The Interlocking J’s
Dr. Alberta B. Turner, 4th National President designed the interlocking J’s we often see on jewelry and in print on our publications.
The Jack and Jill of America Foundation
In 1968, the organization created its philanthropic arm, the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois. The Foundation has been responsible for the origin and funding of a large number of educational and charitable projects benefiting children and families in communities across the United States.