RG 97: Records of Church Women United of Arlington, 1944-2001
On January 20, 1944, representatives from sixteen churches in Arlington met to discuss organizing an Arlington Council of Church Women. The name was changed in 1953 to United Church Women of Arlington and then, finally, to Church Women United (CWU) in 1968.
The national Church Women United describes itself as “a national volunteer Christian ecumenical women’s movement.” From its beginning in 1941 it has been an interdenominational and interracial group. The national CWU has been a significant leader in developing the churches’ role within the Civil Rights movement, the peace movement, and the equal rights movement.
Early in its formation, United Church Women in Arlington advocated for integration of many facilities including hospitals, restaurants, and movie theaters. It also argued for racial equality in matters of churches, schools, housing, and the workplace. In 1952 the Arlington Council started a Child Care Center for Eastern Shore migrant workers and provided supplies and programs. Local child care centers were a few of the other projects in which CWU was a leader.
CWU’s calendar revolves around an annual meeting in January, a World Day of Prayer (first Friday in March), May Fellowship Day (first Friday in May), and World Community Day (first Friday in November).