In the late 1950’s a group of New York women, led by Amanda Webb, founded an organization to combat the indignities they suffered as a result of the 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, experience 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, etc. 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 the 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, Incorporated and it is only through this review can accurate documentation of the organization’s history be chronicled.
Reorganization – CARATS, Inc.
1975 – Present
By 1975, PIVOTS had chapters installed in nine cities. The Board of Directors determined that reorganization was necessary. With Amanda Webb of New York, as National President and Roberta Wise, of Washington, DC, serving as Chair of the Reorganization Committee, the restructuring process began. In June of 1975, a draft form of the Articles of Incorporation was presented in Boca Raton, FL. The organization’s leaders believed this restructuring would provide for equality in representation and a more clearly defined constitution and by laws.
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. 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. To date more than $65,000 has been donated to scholarships and charitable organizations within the cities that host the National Conclave.