AKA pledges to keep helping others

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

The president-elect of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pledged Saturday the organization would continue its outreach to persons in need around the world. Carolyn House Stewart, a Tampa, Fla., attorney, was the guest speaker in Selma for the Zeta Eta Omega Chapter’s Centennial founder’s day luncheon. She said she felt honored to walk where history was made that shaped America and vowed her sorority would continue its service to all mankind.

“Alpha Kappa Alpha has a spiritual base,” Stewart told the more than 200 in attendance at the Carl Morgan Convention Center. “Love thy neighbor as thyself, and to render unto the least of these.”

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Stewart encouraged those in attendance to celebrate their pasts and embrace the future. She asked her sorors to take time out to really know their founders, who did not leave financial wealth to their organization.

“One of the founders, Harriet Terry, taught at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville for 37 years,” Stewart said. “They knew education was a form of wealth.” The first of Greek letter organizations for African American women is celebrating its founding 100 years ago on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. The local chapter of AKA was incorporated in 1954. The organization now has more than 200,000 members worldwide. During the celebration there were five Centennial honorees: Dr. James Mitchell, president of Wallace Community College Selma; Dr. Verdell Lett-Dawson, interim superintendent, Selma City Schools; Dr. Fannie Major-McKenzie, superintendent, Dallas County Schools; Dallas County Commissioner Curtis Williams; and Selma City Councilwoman Jean T. Martin. There were two $500 scholarships presented to Candice Pettaway and Robert Stewart. Presentations were also made for $1,000 to the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute, and $500 awards presented to representatives for Wallace Community College Selma, Concordia College and Selma University.