Around Town 30

Over 20,000 Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Coming to Atlanta July 9-16 for Biennial Conference

More than 20,000 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) – from all over the world – will converge on Atlanta from July 9-16 for its biennial conference. Led by International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, L.H.D., attendees will engage in service projects as well as leadership training and development.

The conference will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center, as well as several hotels. Members from as far away as Germany, Japan, South Korea, Liberia, South Africa and Dubai are expected to attend.

Atlanta was selected as the host site for the conference based on its deep civil rights roots and historical significance to the Sorority. The city has served as home to icons such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Alpha Kappa Alpha founder Marie Woolfolk Taylor, who is buried there; and the late Dr. Mary Shy Scott, a prominent educator and motivational speaker who served as the Sorority’s 23rd International President. Atlanta last hosted the organization’s international conference in 1980.

Also, the sorority will host the Think HBCU Expo on July 9, showcasing historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as critical venues for moving students to and through college. Local high school students and families can explore offerings at many of the nation’s best HBCUs.

On July 10, there will be a public meeting to highlight Alpha Kappa Alpha’s global service mission and accomplishments and to honor civic leaders, both locally and worldwide. Awards will be presented to international leaders during this event, which is also free and open to the public.

Kappa Omega, the oldest AKA chapter in Atlanta, was chartered in 1923. For years, it was the only Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter serving the Atlanta community until the chartering of Alpha Pi Chapter at Clark Atlanta University in 1930. There are also AKA chapters at Emory University, Spelman College, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University and Oglethorpe University, and several graduate chapters throughout metro Atlanta.

“Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is thrilled to bring our biennial conference to Atlanta,” said Buckhanan Wilson. “After more than 30 years since our last international conference here, the Sorority returns to the city of Atlanta, home to thousands of members. As more than 20,000 members descend on the city, our service impact will be felt by the Atlanta community for years to come.”

As part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha’s international program theme, “Launching New Dimensions of Service,” the sorority will host “23 Moments of Service” (see insert) during the conference in honor of Dr. Scott.

About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

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 letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of more than 290,000 members in 993 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 Dubai. Led by International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, L.H.D., 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 AKA1908.com.

PinkSTEM Mother Daughter TEA2

PinkSTEM presented our second annual Mother Daughter T.E.A.2 ( Technology. Engineering. Arts, Aviation), which was an extravagant event of Tea and STEM activities held at the Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center located at 3900 Aviation Cir NW, Atlanta Ga 30336. Thanks to our Community Sponsor Subway, our Community event of Fancy Hats, White Gloves and “Sunday Best” was a success. Moms/ Grandmothers/Aunts/Lady Mentors joined together to showcase their STEM talents to their future generation of young ladies.

Special Honored Guest Speaker Livia Ribeiro Educator of “Journey to Mars Explorers” from Kennedy Space in Titusville Florida  along with Take Flight Girls, Capt Tony Holder and Dr. Jason Robinson of Free Radical Designs joined us for an informative exploration in Aerospace. Hair and Make-Up done by Xclusive Hair Salon located 1859 Harvard Ave. Atlanta Ga. Please join us for Summer Camp June 13-17th and future events located with our community partner Influential Ladies of the Motherless Daughters Foundation, located 1861 Harvard Ave, Atlanta Ga. Please contact PinkSTEM Founder and Executive Director Tamika Ray to sign your young lady up for an exploration of STEM and Fun. PinkStem.org  678.515.2125

President Obama Honors One of Atlanta’s Own with Early Career Award

Dr. Jakita O. Thomas will be awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the White House. Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D. is no stranger to being recognized for her efforts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). A Spelman Graduate, she is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2012 – 2017), as well as both the Spelman College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013) and the Spelman College Presidential Award for Scholarly Achievement (2015). Now she can also add the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which will be presented by President Barack Obama this Spring, to her many accolades.

“These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges,” stated President Obama as he discussed the PECASE recipients. He will be presenting this award to 105 researches in the early stages of their independent research careers, but this one in particular represents the essence of Atlanta. As an Assistant Professor of Computer & Information Science at her alma mater, Jakita Thomas represents this city well as she is bestowed this honor for her innovative research that explores African-American middle school girls’ ability to develop creative problem solving and computational algorithmic thinking (CAT) capabilities in the context of designing games for social change.

On the path to all of this recognition, Jakita has stayed true to her passion for teaching and understanding the development of scientific reasoning and computational algorithmic thinking capapbilities, which are critical for success in STEM. She co-founded the Social Change Youth Foundation, Inc (TheSCFATL.org), a non-profit (501(c)(3)) focused on helping youth pursue their educational, professional, and personal dreams, as well as Digital Youth Founders (DigitalYouthFounders.org), which supports youth globally as they engage in technology-focused social entrepreneurship.  Dr. Thomas also founded Supporting Computational Algorithmic Thinking (SCAT), for which she is receiving the PECASE.  SCAT (JThoma41.Wix.com/SCAT) is both a research project as well as a free enrichment program designed to not only explore the development of CAT capabilities over three years in African-American middle-school girls as they engage in game design for social change, but also to increase the awareness of these girls to the broad applicability of CAT across a number of industries and career paths. Programs like these expose African-American youth to Computer Science (CS) earlier in their educational journeys and support them as learn skills and practices that shift them from being only consumers of technology to also being producers of technology.

Jakita is also an author of children’s books. “Vivi and the Copper Penny” will be released June 2016.