In 1945, Margaret Hawkins, a young Philadelphia matron, conceived the idea of a group of clubs composed of friends along the eastern seaboard. She spent many hours with Sarah Scott, her long-time friend and fellow matron, planning and discussing the possibilities of this kind of endeavor. To bring their plan to fruition, on the evening of November 9th, 1946, they invited seven of their friends to join them in creating a new type of inter-city.
Hawkins and Scott envisioned an organization that would respond to the needs and aspirations of Black women in ways that existing clubs had not. Their club would focus on three key areas —civic, educational, and cultural. Based on these key areas, the club would implement programs, which Hawkins and Scott believed would foster cultural appreciation through the arts; develop richer inter-group relations; while also helping women who participated to understand and accept their social and civic responsibilities.
Besides the two founders, the original members of the original Philadelphia Club were Frances Atkinson, Katie Green, Marion Minton, Lillian Stanford, Myrtle Manigault Stratton, Lillian Wall, and Dorothy Wright. The club elected Margaret Hawkins as president, Sarah Scott as vice president, Myrtle Manigault Stratton as recording secretary, Frances Atkinson as corresponding secretary, and Dorothy Wright as treasurer.