The essay deals with the activity of the Federal Council on Negro Affairs, started by Mary McLeod Bethune among African-American administrators appointed in the New Deal. With the beginning of the "Second New Deal", its informal arrangement allowed to cross institutional boundaries and to create a wide and interracial network based on official and personal relationships. The article focuses on the strategies adopted by the Federal Council on Negro Affairs to advance shared and interdepartmental reforms. Thanks to the strategical leadership of Bethune - achieved after three decades of activism in education and black women's clubs - this committee influenced both institutions and emancipation movements. Its activity demonstrates how African-Americans had a leading role in the New Deal and were able to reshape the redefinition of race between the second half of the Thirties and the early Forties.