With a global point of view in mind, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. members have converged on Memphis for the 81st South Eastern Regional Conference.
The four-day conference – March 14-17 – is projected to attract 3,000-plus sorority members from the 105-year-old international sorority's South Eastern Region – Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi (known as the "ATM.")
Additional guests are expected to pour into the "Bluff City" from various points – nationally and internationally. The conference theme is "Global Leadership Through Timeless Service: Let the Good Times Roll Through Timeless Service."
All public events will be held at the Memphis Marriott Downtown and the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
Planned activities during the four-day conference include:
The ATM "Investing in Our Future" Girls' Youth Summit; March 14, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The summit is free and open to fifth through 12th-grade girls. Sessions will include: "Tips on Protecting Yourself," "Fighting Teenage Obesity," "Loving My Black Hair," and "Why Girls Fight."
Community service projects, including a school supply and gift card collection throughout the conference for Karat Place, Inc.; the Memphis Union Mission's Moriah House; and the YWCA of Greater Memphis. Sorority members with expertise in human resources are also scheduled to host a pre-conference job readiness workshop on March 12 at 6 p.m. at the Moriah House for the shelter's clients.
A public meeting and reception will be held on March 14 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. It will feature recognition of Tennessee and Mississippi public servants in social justice and human rights, and health, with a focus on asthma prevention and environmental stewardship and sustainability.
Those being honored are Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr.; Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams; Jackson (Tenn.) City Councilman Ernest Brooks II, Esq.; Dianne Collins Mitchell; the Honorable Jack Reed Jr.; Mississippi state Rep. Kelvin O'Neal Buck; Daphne M. Nelson; and A.J. Stovall, Ph.D.