In 1984, Mrs. Jane Woods, owner and publisher of the St. Louis Sentinel Newspaper, organized a group of twenty-two women under the name of “The Coterie”. These ladies functioned under this interest group name until October 11, 1986, when they were officially installed as the twelfth chapter of CARATS, Inc., with Jane Woods presiding as the first chapter president. In 1998, St. Louis was the site of the Twenty-Third National Conclave, where Mrs. Woods was elected the Thirteenth National President of CARATS, Inc. She was the first person from St. Louis, Missouri to hold this office.
The St. Louis Chapter of CARATS, Inc. is composed of a diverse group of women from various professions. They are women who are actively involved and hold memberships in many professional organizatons and civic organizations such as The Links, Incorporated, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Iota Phi Lambda, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Top Ladies of Distinction, The MOLES, The NAACP, The Urban League, Urban League Guild, and the National Council of Negro Women. Some career fields of the St. Louis members include teaching, school administration, university professors, business, health careers, social service, real estate and technology. They use their talents and skills to further promote the chapter’s social and civic endeavors.
In keeping with the national tradition, the St. Louis Chapter has supported charitable and civic causes within the bi-state area. Contributions and support have been given to the YMCA Boy’s Choir, “Katrina Relief Effort, “Gateway Classic Sports Foundation, Scott Air Force Family Support Center, The VFW of O’Fallon, Illinois. Individual members have also contributed to and supported The Sentinel Charities Luncheon and many HBCU Alumni Scholarship Activities.
The St. Louis Chapter of CARATS, Inc promotes friendship and holds dear the principles of the National Creed of Sisterhood. In 2011, the St. Louis Chapter of Carats hosted the Thirty-Sixth National Conclave.