In the late 1950’s, a group of New York women, led by Amanda Webb, founded an organization to combat the indignities they suffered under Jim Crow Laws in our country. Their purpose was to establish a social network that would allow the ladies to meet women of similar ethnic origin, experiences and circumstances. As they traveled, this network made it possible to avoid the humiliation of being denied access to public accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants. These connections laid the groundwork for planned activities and subsequently a formal
group known as PIVOTS was organized.
In May 1959, the New York PIVOTS officially installed a second chapter in Pittsburgh, PA Due to the professional obligations of their husbands, many of the women in both chapters relocated to other cities. Additional relationships developed and new chapters evolved in various cities as this migration occurred.
In 1962, the Pittsburgh Chapter of PIVOTS assumed the role of “Mother Chapter,” drafted a constitution and filed Articles of Incorporation for PIVOTS in the state of Pennsylvania. After much deliberation and many revisions, the PIVOTS Constitution was officially adopted at the Cleveland Convention in 1974. The history of PIVOTS is an
integral part of CARATS, Inc., and it is only through this review that accurate documentation of the organizations history is chronicled.
By 1975, PIVOTS had chapters installed in nine cities. The Board of Directors determined that reorganization was necessary. Amanda Webb of New York was National President and Roberta Wise, of Washington, D.C., was Chair of the Reorganization Committee. In June of 1975, a draft form of the Articles of Incorporation was presented in Boca Raton, Florida. The organizations leaders believed this restructuring would provide for equality in representation and a more clearly defined constitution and bylaws.
On june 28, 1975, several names were submitted for the new organization. The Atlanta Chapter submitted the name “CARATS,” and showed a visual design to symbolize this name. Their submission received overwhelming support. A Statement of Purpose was determined, a Motto was selected and a Creed of Sisterhood was also adopted to signify the principles of this reorganized group.
In keeping with the principles and ideals upon which CARATS, Inc. was founded, great emphasis is placed upon the National Community Contribution Award. Donations to scholarships and charitable organizations are given to the cities that host the National Conclave in which the local chapters select these recipients.
– Carat Rosalee Johnson
St Louis Chapter of CARATS, Incorporated