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Many years ago, the Washington, D.C. American Association of University Women (AAUW-DC) branch established the Mary Church Terrell Scholarship as one of its community outreach projects. It was named in honor of Mary Church Terrell (1863 to 1954), a long-time member of the branch who was an educator, writer, lecturer, club woman and civil rights activist. As a way to scale the vision of our branch, the officers of the AAUW-DC branch created the Mary Church Terrell Foundation (a nonprofit organization who partners with AAUW-DC). The creation of the Foundation is our way to pay homage to her because, without her efforts to desegregated the AAUW-DC branch, African American women would NOT be allowed to join as members.  Now, all educated African American women can join the AAUW-DC.  

We know firsthand what a struggle it can be for girls and young women, from low income families and/or challenging backgrounds, to pursue higher education. It takes resources, encouragement and a sense of possibility. Our mission is to work together with like-minded stakeholders in Washington DC to provide scholarships to girls and young women. Our vision is to change a young woman’s life in a most positive and profound way through education. 

Education is the key that will open so many doors, not least of which is the door to an informed and rational mind. And educated women are likely to ensure that their daughters are educated as well, so this gift of education is passed forward to the next generation.


The Mary Church Terrell Foundation, is a Washington DC based nonprofit organization.  We received our 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service in 2019.  Lead by the spirit of Mary Church Terrell and her activism, we are individuals who believe in giving women a chance to change the world through education. By donating your resources and/or your time, you will help young women in Washington DC find a pathway out of poverty.  Act now and be apart of something big and change the trajectory a young girls life.  

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