First Black Sorority’s Local Chapter Celebrates Founders’ Day

Past Presidents of the Chapter : (Top Row L-R): Treva Jeffries Martin, Andrea Price, Felicia Dunston, Katina Johnson, Clara Petty, Lisa Dubose, Denise Black-Poon, Mary Dawson
(Bottom Row L-R ): Marie Bush, Margaret Huntley, Richelle Watkins, Julia Holt, Theodosia Tucker

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

The 116th Founders’ Day celebration organized by the local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. chapters of Zeta Alpha Omega, Alpha Lambda and Iota Iota was held on February 17 at The Pinnacle. Guests, community members and sorority members gathered to celebrate the occasion that also acknowledged local honorees under the theme, “Black Girls Rock in Exemplary Service.”

“We’re here to celebrate the 116th Founders’ Day of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and celebrate ladies in the community. Black Girls Rock in Exemplary Service highlights community ladies and the work they are doing in the community,” shared Richelle Watkins, president of Zeta Alpha Omega chapter.

Kristian Brown of 13abc served as the mistress of ceremonies and opened the celebration. Sonya Randall introduced the dais, Sheila Brown led Lift Every Voice and Sing, and Watkins, the chapter president, delivered the welcome.

“Today, we are privileged to acknowledge and honor those who have shown exceptional dedication and accomplishment in their pursuits, contributing significantly to the enhancement of our beloved Toledo community. To those being honored, we extend our deepest gratitude for your unwavering commitment and for the remarkable impact you have made,” shared Nicnora Robinson, president of Alpha Lambda chapter, via souvenir booklet.

Greetings were also delivered by Aeneas Glover, the Iota Iota chapter president. Special acknowledgements were delivered by Felicia Roberts-Dunston, invocation delivered by Debra Brock, program initiative presented by Katrina Barry, and poem recited by Kayleen Powell.

“I would like to extend thanks to the Founder’s Day Committee for working so diligently and being passionate enough to create this wonderful program. I want to thank the members of Alpha Lambda and Iota Iota for helping host this wonderful event,” noted Glover.

Award honorees:

  • Jovita Robertson, current teacher, awarded Legacy of Excellence Award
  • Curtina Keetion, entrepreneur and owner of K’Janée Boutique, awarded Shot Caller Award
  • Alissa Mauter, entrepreneur and owner of Helping Hearts, awarded Young Gifted and Black Award
  • Yvonne Mitcham, retired nurse and social worker who focuses on community entrepreneur support, awarded Trailblazer Award
  • Darlene Sweeney-Newbern, civil rights advocate, awarded Social Humanitarian Award
  • Shanda Gore, leadership developer and strategist, awarded Community Change Agent Award
  • Bishop Pat McKinstry, author and pastor of The Worship Center, awarded Icon Award
  • Ann Colbert Battles, long-time sorority member with a demonstrated history of service and leadership, awarded Sisterhood Award

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 15, 1908 at Howard University located in Washington, D.C. Locally, Alpha Lambda Chapter was established at the University of Toledo in 1928. Iota Iota was chartered at Bowling Green State University in 1972. Zeta Alpha Omega Chapter was chartered in 1952. Current Zeta Alpha Omega chapter leadership: Richelle Watkins, president; Katrina Barry, assistant president; Malinda Powell, recording secretary; Cassandra Adams, corresponding secretary; Traci Johnson, treasurer; Andrea Price, assistant treasurer and parliamentarian; Cheryl Phillips, financial secretary; Treva Jeffries-Martin, assistant financial secretary; Valerie Walston, public relations; Katina Johnson, Alpha Lambda advisor; Leigh Utley, Iota Iota advisor; Desiree McGee, historian; Marcia Brown, and Sgt. At Arms.