In the spring of 1998 three women of color on the campus of Southwest Texas State University saw the need for a forum for women of color to bond in solidarity and develop and nurture relationships that would evolve over time. Agnes Francis, Rochell Flood and Hope Young worked with advisors, Sundra Spears and Sherri Benn to fine tune the mission and objectives and set the agenda for the kickoff meeting.
Since the target group was collegiate women, the focus was on building self esteem, providing the tools for building solid female-female relationships, promoting social awareness and community involvement and spirituality in the life of women. More importantly, it provided a much needed support system for a group of women who comprise less than 2% of the total student population. This coalition or alliance allowed for Sister Circle to obtain funding applying to specific needs of that less than 2% underrepresented student body.
Sister Circle was so successful that other Universities expressed sincere interest in starting a Chapter on their campus. In fall of 1998, the founders worked with advisors and women of color on the campus of Texas Lutheran University to start a chapter on that campus. Both chapters worked closely together to achieve common objectives and focused on "reclaiming the woman's spirit".
Upon relocating to Austin in 1999 to work with Motorola, Agnes Francis was hopeful in finding an established organization with similar objectives to that of Sister Circle where she could continue her efforts in spirit reclamation and utilize her experiences to impact change and build bridges between varying socio-economic groups. Unfortunately, no such group existed and she found it challenging connecting with women who had similar objectives and vision. Thus, she decided to create a Sister Circle forum in Austin: an organization that builds on the existing Sister Circle that was founded five (5) years earlier at Southwest Texas State University.
On February 9th, 2003 Agnes presented a proposal for the Austin Chapter of Sister Circle to six (6) women of excellence that she had formed strong bonds with since her move to Austin. Included in that group was original founder, Hope Young. Also present were Connie Vazquez-Imler, Rita Rahm, Nicole Thomas, Vivian Mayfield, and Rebecca Kan. The Austin Chapter would be multicultural in nature to embrace Agnes' passion for diversity and the wealth that her diverse group of female friends had enriched her with.
The women were extremely excited about the proposal and were very eager to fine tune and implement it. Thus the core group (Austin Charter Members) met regularly to complete milestones and prepare for the kickoff meeting on Saturday, May 17th 2003, and the rest they say is "her-story".