top of page

The Legacy of
Maggie L. Walker

Historical image of Maggie L. Walker, the founder of the original organization.

Let a new earth rise...Let a second generation full of courage issue forth; let a people loving freedom come to growth. ~ Margaret Walker

Collage of several images of Maggie L. Walker over the course of her life, showcasing her journey and accomplishments.

Early Years -
Community Engagement

Maggie L. Walker's journey into community service and leadership began at the age of 14 when she became involved with the Independent Order of St. Luke. This pivotal moment marked the start of her lifelong dedication to uplifting and empowering the African American community. Within the organization, Mrs. Walker spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives aimed at supporting the sick, elderly, and bereaved members of her community. Through her tireless efforts and visionary leadership, she laid the foundation for transformative change and set an inspiring example for generations to come.

and Advocacy

During the early 1900s, Maggie L. Walker made significant strides in fostering community communication and unity by establishing The St. Luke Herald, a pioneering newspaper. This publication served as a platform to promote dialogue and solidarity among members of the African American community. Additionally, Mrs. Walker achieved a historic milestone with the founding of the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in 1903. In this groundbreaking endeavor, she became the first African American woman to charter and preside over a bank in the United States, solidifying her legacy as a trailblazer in finance and social progress.

Honoring the Legacy

For over a century, the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank stood as a beacon of financial empowerment and resilience, maintaining its status as the oldest continually operated African American-operated bank in the US until its closure in 2009. Today, the St. Luke Legacy Center remains steadfast in its commitment to carrying forward Maggie L. Walker's visionary legacy. Serving as a catalyst for positive change, the center provides a nurturing environment for underrepresented families to flourish. Through a comprehensive array of wraparound services and initiatives, it continues to empower the community and uphold Mrs. Walker's enduring vision of equity and opportunity for all.

July 14th - July 20th, 2024

Experience the Legacy


Join us each July for Legacy Week, as we honor Maggie L. Walker's enduring legacy and the founding of our center. Coinciding with her birthday, it's a special time to celebrate her profound impact. The week features a range of activities—from exhibits of past events to engaging, inspirational activities—each reflecting her visionary spirit. Participate in this historic celebration and contribute to continuing Maggie L. Walker's legacy of leadership and community empowerment

Image of three little girls participating in a St. Luke Legacy Center event, smiling and enjoying the activities.

Together our impact
knows no limit.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

Image of a group of individuals participating in a yoga event at St. Luke Legacy Center, practicing various yoga poses and promoting wellness.
Group image of the co-founders of St. Luke Legacy Center with visitors and event goers at an event, all smiling and enjoying the occasion.

Discover the Legacy


Explore further into the legacy of Maggie L. Walker and the St. Luke Legacy Center with our curated selection of additional resources. From historical insights to community initiatives, there's more to discover.

bottom of page