About Us

Les Gemmes was founded by four childhood friends in April 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Later, together with other young ladies of similar ideals and interests, these four met to form the original Les Gemmes (French-the jewels”) Civic, Social and Savings Club. The four friends subsequently became the Founders of the Organization. The first two years, 1955 – 1957, was a period dedicated to diligent organizational planning and hard work. Successful supporting projects and activities gave the club a good start and great momentum. The goals of Les Gemmes were altered and expanded to include activities that stimulate, foster and provide social, civic, educational and cultural activities among the members and the community. Additionally, establishing chapters throughout the Continental United States was a major focus.

Under the first National President, many goals were achieved and the dream of a Corporation became a reality. In April 1968, Les Gemmes was incorporated in Richmond, Virginia.

The First National Convention was held in Norfolk, Virginia in 1972. A National Convention is now held every two years. For the past few decades, the organization has become much more service oriented, and the purpose was again altered to the current one: “To promote and provide charitable, educational, civic, and cultural activities aimed at enhancing the populations of the various communities.” The strengths of the Organization have come from the unity and collective resources of its membership. Through the years, Les Gemmes Inc. has adopted programmatic goals to reach citizens throughout the United States.

National Program Theme: Soaring to New “HEIGHTS” of Service

Current goals are in the areas of:


Les Gemmes, Incorporated continues to grow as the chapters assemble their efforts to adhere to the ideals of its Organization

Our Chapter

The Nashville Chapter was established and founded in 2004.

Our Charter Members Are:

  • Gemme Edwina Hefner

  • Gemme Rosetta Miller Perry

  • Gemme Evelyn Fancher

  • Gemme Hortense Price Jones

  • Gemme Gloria McKissack

  • Gemme Ann Haynes

  • Gemme Joyce Ball

  • Gemme Valencia Price

  • Gemme Lula Brooks

  • Gemme Leslie Drummond

  • Gemme Margaret McClain

  • Gemme Joy Sims

  • Gemme Mary Carver Patrick

  • Gemme Ernestine Potts

  • Gemme Debbie Hirsch

The chapter has made its impact locally under the National Program Initiative, “Lighting the Path For Girls”. (now referred to as “Girls of Distinction”). The young ladies are referred to as Jewels that we mentor. We provide cultural and educational activities and enhance life skills, which address character development, building integrity and high self-esteem. We help the Jewels to understand the importance of giving back to their community through hands on service efforts.

Our annual Literary Luncheon is our major fundraiser to provide scholarships to our graduating seniors who plan to attend a four-year college or university.

Luvenia R. Harrison serves as the Chapter President.