The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded on February 12, 1909, by a group of activists including W.E.B. Du Bois (the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard), Ida B. Wells, Archibald Grimke, Mary Church Terrell, Henry Moskowitz, Mary White Ovington, William English Walling, Florence Kelley, Oswald Garrison Villard, and Charles Edward Russell. The organization held its first conference on May 30, 1909, and at its second conference on May 30, 1910, members named the organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and elected its first officers. The organization was incorporated in 1911 with the mission:
To promote equality of rights and to eradicate caste or race prejudice among the citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for their children, employment according to their ability and complete equality before law.
The Boston Branch was established at the 1911 meeting, and was the first branch of the organization.