The Now Black Woman Award is the highest and most prestigious honor given to a Drifter. The award is presented during the Annual Drifters National Convention. The Now Black Woman Award is based on a concept initially created by the Norfolk Chapter to typify the versatility, courage and strength of a special kind of woman. In 1972, on a recommendation from the New York Chapter, the Now Black Woman Award was officially adopted by The Drifters, Incorporated as a national award. The Now Black Woman is nominated by her chapter for achievements and service in the following categories:
- local chapter and community activities
- other national affiliations
- professional affiliations
- personal hobbies and interests
An outside panel of judges, not affiliated with the Drifters organization, makes the final selection. During the award ceremony, a plaque and a 14K gold charm having the image of Queen Nefertiti, the symbol for the Now Black Woman Award, is bestowed on the recipient.