Over 2,500 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – from all over the world — will converge upon Atlanta from July 13-17 for its biennial Leadership Conference. Led by International President Attorney Carolyn House Stewart, members will master leadership skills, convene health forums, engage in an outdoor environmental-awareness initiative and host a youth summit. The Sorority will also brainstorm strategies on how African Americans can flex their political power as the nation prepares for the 2012 presidential election.
Members will come from all ten regions for the weeklong event including from as far away as Germany and Japan. The conference theme is Leadership & Service: A Timeless Mission.
Dressed in their signature pink and green, members will also engage in a series of service projects aimed at uplifting the community and showcasing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority as the premiere global service organization.
One of the Sorority’s nine founders, Marie Woolfolk Taylor resided and is buried in Atlanta. Stewart added that Coretta Scott King, an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, also called Atlanta home. In tribute to these venerable notables, members will make a solemn pilgrimage to their gravesites where they will lay wreaths and pay homage to them.
Stewart revealed that another reason for selecting Atlanta is because it boasts a legacy of producing strong African-American leaders. It is this inspiring environment that propelled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to greatness. She added that Atlanta is also the site of Spelman College, Clark -Atlanta University, and Morehouse College – three strong Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Each institution, said Stewart, has a powerful tradition of educating African American leaders, including from among AKA’s membership. Stewart said that one of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s core missions is to create pathways where young people can gain an education and become productive global citizens. The Atlanta colleges provide the educational experience that AKA holds up as prototypes of excellence.
Attorney Stewart revealed that Alpha Kappa Alpha will visit King’s birth home, which has a special significance to the Sorority. In 1972, AKA purchased Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home on behalf of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. The acquisition was one of the first memorials to Dr. King.
The president, the 18-member board of directors and the 2500 member/attendees will use the occasion implement the program initiative Internal Leadership Training for External Service. This initiative affords Alpha Kappa Alpha members leadership training at all levels within the organization. It also serves as a catalyst for members to reach their fullest potential as skilled leaders in service to Alpha Kappa Alpha and other organizations and institutions.
The international president said that the learning focus for Leadership 2011 parallels the Sorority’s global vision that is embraced under the Sorority’s programmatic theme: “Global Leadership Through Timeless Service.” Declared Stewart, “With the world becoming more complex, it is crucial that individuals are equipped to lead with boldness, vision and imagination. Through the curriculum taught by Alpha Kappa Alpha’s leaders, the Conference will realize its objective to nurture and cultivate future leaders who can take on these awesome challenges. The tools they will be taught will empower them to lead at every level of the leadership spectrum including within the Sorority, their communities and the world. With historic Atlanta as the backdrop, we will be inspired to achieve these goals. In keeping with AKA’s service mission, we will also render service to those who are most vulnerable.”
Stewart announced that as part of its mission to serve Atlanta, members would donate school supplies to a variety of Atlanta-based organizations during its youth summit. The Sorority will also engage in an environmental outdoor project in collaboration with the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance.
In summing up the spirit of the visit, Stewart said, “It is our hope that Alpha Kappa Alpha’s visit will give Atlanta an economic and psychological boost that will be felt long after the conference has ended.”
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Atlanta-area chapters:
Alpha Kappa Alpha serves the communities of Atlanta through 13 graduate chapters that boast nearly 1,800 members. The chapters are based in Atlanta, Conyers, Decatur, Alpharetta, Newnan, Hapeville, Stockbridge, Marietta, East Point, Stone Mountain and Lawrenceville. Alpha Kappa Alpha also has over 100 members from seven undergraduate chapters that are located at Clark Atlanta University, Clayton State, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Mercer University and Spelman College. Atlanta-area members encourage personal fitness and healthy lifestyles through awareness campaigns, forums and partnerships that strive to reduce health disparities among women and minorities and Asthma Prevention and Management initiatives. Atlanta’s AKAs also adopt families in crisis, participate in environmental beautification efforts, free entrepreneur training for women and voter empowerment initiatives. They also mentor girls and boys of incarcerated parents.
For more information about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. log on to www.aka1908.com.
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