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The Legacy

Meda Chamberlain

Dr. Meda Howard Chamberlain, former Regional Director for National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in Northern and Southern California, passed away on August 05, 2011 at age 95. Dr. Chamberlain, a native of Marshall, Texas, received her undergraduate degrees in Education from Bishop College, Texas and a graduate degree in Psychology from USC. She was retired from the Whittier Unified School System, having specialized in Educational Counseling and Teacher Formation Training. Dr. Dorothy I. Height (recently deceased NCNW Chair and President Emeritus) saw great potential in Meda Chamberlain when she joined NCNW in l962. Dr. Height subsequently appointed her Executive Director of the Southern California Area, which she served for nearly 30 years. Dr. Chamberlain was one of the founding members and first President of the NCNW View Park Section of Los Angeles, as well as a Legacy Life Member and served as an NCNW National Officer.


Dr. Chamberlain organized several federally funded projects for NCNW's CETA program; the first being the H.O.N.O.R. Project (Helping Our Neighborhoods Older Residents) in 1977 under United Way and the Jobs Program which trained and employed hundreds of men and women in Los Angeles County. Another major leadership accomplishment was to discover and coordinate the purchase of a building serving the local NCNW sections as "Council House" at 3720 W 54th St., Los Angeles. In l981 she organized the first food co-op at the NCNW Council House and spearheaded the Education 2000 National Program with math, reading and science components. In 1986 she became Regional Coordinator of the "NCNW Black Family Reunion Celebration". This event was held each year until 1995. Although NCNW was close to Dr. Chamberlain's heart, she was a long-time member of Delta Sigma Theta, California Teacher's Union and St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles. As recently as 2009 Dr. Chamberlain was appointed to serve on President Obama's "Kitchen Cabinet" and she continued until her health began to fail.


Dr. Chamberlain remained an active member and intricate part of the National Council of Negro Women until her death. She was God-fearing, God-following, God-believing and she will be loved, respected and remembered forever. Her husband, William Chamberlain (an Engineer and a Veteran ) preceded her in death.

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