It  all began in Philadelphia in 1938, with a loving mother and a simple idea. Our founder, Marion Stubbs Thomas, approached a group of mothers with a vision for a new kind of clubone focused not on the mothers themselves, but on stimulating social and cultural relationships among their children - and instilling the values and leadership skills that would serve them well into adulthood. 

Contra Costa County Chapter

In 1979, a group of mothers residing in the Contra Costa County area started a Jack and Jill of America Interest Group.  The Oakland Chapter sponsored the Interest Group and worked very closely with the group to help them meet the requirements of the National Organization. 

The Interest Group elected their first President, Ruth Lockhart, and began holding their first Mothers’ Meetings at the Breuner’s Furniture Store Meeting Room in Pleasanton, CA.  Their goal was to create educational, cultural, civic, recreational and social programs for their 125 children.  The Contra Costa County Interest Group met once a month and quickly hit their 75-member maximum and stayed at that level for their first 3 years.  After meeting all the requirements, Contra Costa County Chapter was chartered by the National Organization of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. on March 6, 1982.

The chapter soon held their first fundraiser to contribute to the Jack and Jill Foundation.  The event was a boat ride on San Francisco Bay.  A good time was had by all, and lessons for fundraiser success were learned for the future. 

In recent years, Contra Costa County Chapter has been honored several times as the top fundraising chapter in the Far West Region.  We are blessed to enjoy the gift that gives twice, the gift of giving.  Some of our sponsored charities over the years have included: The East County Boys and Girls Club, Judy Davis Leukemia Foundation, Westwind Foster Family Agency, EMQ Foster Family Agency, Pittsburg Pre-School Coordinating Council, UC Berkeley Partnership Program, Pillars of Strength, Girls Inc., Students Rising Above and several others. 

Contra Costa County Chapter is very proud of our large roster of Associate Members, which currently exceeds 30.  Over the years our Associate group has been acknowledged as the largest in the country and continually gains us recognition at Regional and National conferences.  In 2010, our last founding member, Cheryl Grigsby, graduated out of the chapter and is now a proud legacy member of our Associate group. “These Are The Ties That Bind”!  We are very proud to have such a phenomenal group of associate mothers actively supporting our chapter.

Some of our Associate Mothers are now beginning to see their own sons and daughters become members in the Chapter.  In fact, for the first time in 2013 Jasmine Dartez, the daughter of our past president Thywara Porter, was voted in as President.  Then in 2015, Janene Grigsby, daughter of past president Cheryl Grigsby took over the reigns as President.

For the last 36 years, Contra Costa County Chapter has matured and evolved to an established and well-respected family organization within the county and our National organization.  Our members have nurtured hundreds of families, helped build life-long friendships and prepared their children to succeed in the world.  We also proudly returned the favor given to us by our sister chapter, Oakland, by sponsoring new Jack and Jill chapters, Tri-Valley and Greater Vallejo.  

Today as we come upon our 34th year, we continue our work to expand our Contra Costa County Village while staying mindful of who we are “Mothers By Design, Sisters By Choice” and our commitment to our vision: The Power to Make a Difference… Is In Our Hands

2018-2019 Executive Board 

Cherisse Shephard, President

Cynthia Cormier, Vice President

Monique Angara, Program Director

Trina Bedford Recording Secretary

Lillian Samuel, Corresponding Secretary

Petrina Winston, Treasurer

Cassandra Youngblood, Financial Secretary

Christine Pauley, Editor

Tracie Christmas, Parliamentarian

Kristen Clement, Foundation Chair

Karla Fields, Chaplain

Misha Dunford, Sergeant-At-Arms

Jasmine Dartez, Protocol Chair

Tamara Scott, MIS Administrator

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Greg Young, Father's Auxiliary Chair

Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2–19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. 

Our objectives and aims are simple:

To create a medium of contact for children which will stimulate growth and development. To provide children a constructive educational, cultural, health, recreational and social program. 

To aid mothers in learning more about their children by careful study.
To seek for all children the same advantages which we desire for our own.
To support all national legislation aimed at bettering the conditions of all children. 

Our Mission

Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 – 19, dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.

Our History

The late Marion Stubbs Thomas founded Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, on January 24, 1938, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twenty mothers came together to discuss creating an organization to provide social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth between the ages of 2 and 19. In 1946, 10 chapters were involved in the national restructuring process. The constitution and bylaws were drawn up, and the organization was incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware.

Today, Jack and Jill boasts more than 230 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members. Each chapter plans annual programming activities guided under a national theme. Through service projects, Jack and Jill of America creates a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development.

We Are All About Families


Our membership is made up of mothers, which are responsible for keeping their children involved in the organization, planning and chaperoning events, serving as officers and on committees, supporting fund raising and sponsoring community service projects. 

YOUTH (AGES 2-12) 

Youth are engaged in activities planned by mothers that emphasize cultural, social, educational and civic activities, which set the foundations for successful leaders. 

TEENS (AGES 13-19) 

Teens interact in a self-governing environment strategically aligned with the mothers’ program, aimed to develop and nurture leadership skills. Additionally, teens are encouraged to hold elected offices, chair committees and further develop their understanding of the value of community service. 


Fathers play a vital role in both the nuclear family structure as well as the Jack and Jill family. Fathers’ participation is not mandatory in the organization, however, fathers who do participate assist the chapter membership by offering educational training, financial literacy seminars, chaperoning child and teen events and assisting in the planning of age group activities. 


Associates are mothers who have successfully completed their tenures as members. Associates enjoy continued participation without the demands of active membership such as planning activities, attending chapter meetings, etc. An associate can seek lifetime membership depending on her years of service to the organization. Associates sponsor programs such as Mothers Away from Home (MAFH) for alumni Jack and Jill members, and the annual Associates Day of Service.