Living in a segregated society during the 1930’s was a challenge for African-American families. It was the conditions of those times that were the inspiration behind the founding of an organization which had a membership that consisted of mothers and their children. Thus, Jack and Jill was born on January 24, 1938 in Philadelphia, PA with 20 mothers, led by Marian Turner Stubbs Thomas. The purpose of this Mother’s club was to bring their children together for social, cultural and educational activities, which allowed the children, who were spread around the city, to build relationships and to grow up together.
Early activities were parties at the YWCA, outings to museums and the Christmas party that started it all. Over the next few years, the idea spread throughout the east coast, with calls coming from many states to learn about how to set up a club. After 10 clubs formed, the members of the 10 clubs decided to meet and create a national organization in 1946, finally incorporating as a non-profit corporation in 1964.
Today, Jack and Jillers (ages 2-20) are securely bonded by that name wherever they meet -whether at Teen Regionals, in college, on vacation or at the tot lot- they all have something in common; nurturing experiences that will be with them for life. Jack and Jill was a great idea! Now some 68 years later, there are 220 chapters of 8,000 families, representing over 30,000 individuals (children, mothers and fathers) throughout the US. Jack and Jill Mothers are committed to the original ideals of those 20 mothers.. Together with the Jack and Jill Foundation, the Jack and Jill Organization has become a national voice of social action for all children.