National Conference of Black Mayors

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National Conference of Black Mayors
Abbreviation The CBM
Formation 1974
Type Non-profit
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Region served
United States of America
650+ mayors, 32,000 global political leaders of color

The Conference of Black Mayors (CBM) was incorporated in 1974 as The National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) and was originally organized as the Southern Conference of Black Mayors (SCBM) forty years ago. The thirteen mayors who founded the group were elected after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and held its first meeting in Santee, South Carolina.

Three significant black mayors elected after the Civil and Voting Rights acts were: Carl Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio; Kenneth Gibson of Newark, New Jersey; and Richard G. Hatcher, of Gary, Indiana.[1] In 1973, Atlanta, Georgia, elected Maynard Jackson the first black mayor of a major southern U.S. city.[2] By 2005, nearly every large U.S. city had a black mayor within the previous 30 years.[2]

In April 1990, Unita Blackwell was elected the first woman president of the association. She was the first black woman mayor in Mississippi in 1976 when elected the mayor of Mayersville.[3] In November 2013, 138 black women were U.S. mayors.[4]

In 2011 the association's Board of Directors voted to re-title the organization as The Conference of Black Mayors(CBM) due to the international work and global alliances of the organization. Today, CBM represents over 650 black mayors from across the United States as well as other political leaders and elected officials of color across the diaspora, including Mayors of African descent from around the world. The organization recently hosted its 8th annual Global Summit of Mayors meeting in Cali and Cartegna, Colombia were some 2,000+ leaders and mayors from around the world to work together to bring unity in identify best practices in addressing the local issues that impact the quality of life of the citizens in which they serve. Former Executive Director Michelle Kouruma retired from the organization after thirty years of service and her predecessor Mrs. Vanessa R. Williams has been the Executive Director since her departure in 2004.

CBM Affinity Groups include: “Political Leaders of Color” (PLC) - for international members and “Future Leaders of Color” (FLC) for students majoring in political science, public administration or for any college-student interested in learning more about public service or how to run for political office.

Kevin Johnson and the dissolution of NCBM[edit]

The organization had planned to participate in the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States,[5] but Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson dissolved the group and replaced it with his own group, the African American Mayors Association (AAMA).[6]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overbea, Luix (August 23, 1982). "Black mayors are enthusiastic, but face special problems". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Newark in Context: Black Mayors". American Documentary. July 5, 2005. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Harvard University Institute of Politics: Unita Blackwell". Harvard IOP. 1991. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ O'Leary, Mary E. (November 8, 2013). "Up close and personal with New Haven's new leader". New Haven Register. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  5. ^ "National Conference of Black Mayors to join Civil Rights anniversary". Birmingham, Alabama: WBRC. April 26, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Who's Funding Kevin Johnson's Secret Government?". 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 

External links[edit]