WIMS operated under the umbrella of the National Council of Negro Women. Dorothy Irene Height was President of the NCNW and a long-standing leader in the fight for racial and social justice and the protection of black women, children, and families. She was the lynchpin of WIMS. Polly Cowan was the Executive Director of WIMS, as well as Height’s colleague, amanuensis, and close friend. In 1964, Height and Cowan brought Doris Wilson and Susie Goodwillie into WIMS to direct the project from Jackson, Mississippi.