Local AKA Chapter celebrates Founders’ and Charter Day with community partners

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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By Michelle Covington

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrated 116 years of existence on Jan. 15, 2024. 

To commemorate the occasion, sorority chapters all over the country held events to honor the founders, and the local Lambda Psi Omega Chapter in Franklin, under the leadership of Chapter President Renna Ebron, held its event on March 9, 2024, at The Village at Woods Edge in Franklin. During the celebration, not only did the chapter members pay homage to their founders but also to their charter members who, led by the late Mrs. Pauline Morton, chartered the Lambda Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on March 19, 1978. The surviving charter members include Sylvia Claud, the Honorable Dr. Carolyn Carey, and Angelee Godbold. The chapter members also paused for a moment in memory of their most recent “Ivy Beyond the Wall,” Charter Member Mildred Harris (May 28, 1937 — Sept. 6, 2023).

Chapter members who reached milestones in membership were recognized: Melanie Bradshaw, Dr. Carolyn Burwell, Keisha Nichols, and Callie Williamson all celebrated 25 years of sorority membership. 

Other chapter awards were given for outstanding dedication and service to Lambda Psi Omega Chapter. Michelle Covington received the Soaring Star award, and Dr. Sabrina Lee received the Excellence in Service award. Cheese Parker-Freeman received the Tea Rose Member of the Year award. Dr. Andrea Hall-Leonard received the Appreciation Award. Chapter President Renna Ebron was also recognized by the Founders’ Day Committee for her outstanding leadership.

The guest speaker for the event was the 19th mid-Atlantic Regional Director (Virginia & North Carolina) of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jennifer King Congleton, who emphasized the need for those in attendance to follow the steppingstones laid by our predecessors to be encouraged by the strength and tenacity of the founders and to pick up the mantle and carry on the good work that they began. 

She reminded the audience that there is still so much work to be done in the fight for justice, equality, and civil rights, but we all have the ability to make a difference if we take our cue from those who paved the way. Congleton dynamically infused references to civil rights activists and Biblical figures whose journeys can be pulled upon for inspiration as we strive to leave our own stepping stones for future generations to follow.

In addition to celebrating the successes of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Lambda Psi Omega Chapter, the chapter members recognized several community partners who have worked to make a difference in the community. These community partners included the following: Boykins Neighborhood Outreach Center (Carl & Dr. Lillie Faison, Co-director and Founder/Director), Franklin Parks and Recreation (Sammara Green, Director), Franklin City Public Schools (Dr. Carlton Carter, Superintendent), Southampton County Public Schools (Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon, Superintendent and Devonda Gary, Principal), and the Franklin-Southampton Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Tim Mays, President. Nadine Baxter-Atkins and Brigadier Gen. Sheila Baxter (Retired) were also recognized for their annual financial contribution to the sorority chapter in memory of Lambda Psi Omega Chapter member the late Sandra Smith.

Lambda Psi Omega Chapter would like to thank everyone who made the Founders’ Day and Charter Day event a great success. The chapter thanked the King for serving as the guest speaker and the following vendors/organizations for providing the following services: Covingtons & Co., Shiloh Baptist Church, Ms. Paula Dozier, Frank Davis, and The Village at Woods Edge.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of nearly 360,000 members in 1,074 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea, Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. Led by International President Danette Anthony Reed, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, visit www.aka1908.com.