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Jo Ann Jenkins

Nonprofit executive and government administrator Jo Ann Jenkins was born on February 8, 1958 in Mobile, Alabama to Thelma Jenkins and Leroy Jenkins. Jenkins graduated from Theodore High School in Theodore, Alabama in 1976, and earned her B.S. degree in political science and government from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama in 1980. Jenkins also completed the executive program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Jenkins began her career as an executive assistant in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1981. She then became a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1985, a position she held until 1987. Jenkins left the Department of Transportation, and became partner at Quality Management Services. She then joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1990 as the director of the Office of Advocacy and Enterprise. In 1994, Jenkins became chief of staff at the Library of Congress, and was later appointed as the chief operating officer in 2007. Jenkins remained at the Library of Congress until 2010, when she was named president of the AARP Foundation. Jenkins then served as chief operating officer of AARP from 2013 to 2014, and was appointed as its chief executive officer in 2014, becoming the first African American woman to assume the role. In 2016, Jenkins released her book, Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age, which became a national bestseller.

Jenkins was named as the “Non-Profit Influencer of the Year” in 2015, as one of “Washington’s Most Influential People” in 2015 and 2016, and was on the Non-Profit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50” list from 2013 through 2016. Jenkins also received the Women in Technology Leadership Award in 2010, the Director’s Award from the Peace Crops in 2014, and became a Malcolm Baldrige Fellow in 2013.

Jenkins was actively involved with the Congressional Hunger Center, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the U.S. Small Business Administration Council on Underserved Communities, Living Cities, and Caring for Military Families. She was also appointed to the board of directors for AARP Services.

Jenkins and her husband, Frank G. Jenkins, have two children, Christian and Nicole.

Jo Ann Jenkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 2, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.122

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/02/2017

Last Name

Jenkins

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Organizations
Schools

Theodore High School

Spring Hill College

First Name

Jo Ann

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

JEN10

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

On the beach.

Favorite Quote

Be The Person You Want Others To Be.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/8/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pork chops and mac and cheese.

Short Description

Nonprofit executive and government administrator Jo Ann Jenkins (1958 – ) held positions as chief operating officer of the Library of Congress and president of the AARP Foundation, before becoming the chief executive officer of AARP in 2014.

Employment

AARP

AARP Foundation

Library of Congress

Favorite Color

Purple

Julia Purnell

The 16th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (1962 – 1966) Julia Brogdon Purnell was born on March 19, 1916 in Belton, South Carolina. Purnell and her two sisters, Sadie Brogdon Blackwell and the late Christine Brogdon Gilchrist (both AKA Sorority members), were born to the Reverend and Mrs. Richard E. Brogdon Purnell. Under Purnell’s leadership, the AKA Sorority, Inc. opened its first National Program Office in Washington, D.C. Purnell’s administration also secured a $4 million contract to operate the first federal Job Corps Center for women.

Purnell completed her B.A. degree with honors with a major in psychology and a minor in education at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina and went on to receive her M.A. degree in educational psychology from Atlanta University in 1942. Afterwards, she pursued advanced work at several other universities and earned her specialist teaching certificate in reading from Colorado State College of Education. Since then, Purnell has been the recipient of eight honorary degrees.

Purnell’s lifelong service to the AKA Sorority began with her initiation into the Beta Zeta Omega Chapter in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She fulfilled many leadership roles in her home chapter, including Chapter President, Vice President, Parliamentarian, advisor to the Undergraduate chapter and Recording Secretary. She also served as the South Eastern Regional Director.

Purnell was elected as the 16th International President of the Sorority in 1962 at the Sorority’s national convention in Detroit, Michigan, succeeding Marjorie H. Parker in office. One of her first challenges as president was the implementation of the recommended changes outlined by the Sorority’s Study Commission Report. The result was the creation of new manuals and handbooks that continue to influence the Sorority’s structure and operation. Other highlights of Purnell’s term included obtaining a multi-million dollar contract for the establishment of a Residential Job Corps Center for Women in Cleveland, Ohio. She played a significant role in the effort for civil rights as a participant at the invitation of President Kennedy in the “White House Conference of Three Hundred Women,” and in 1964, she mustered national support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Under Purnell’s leadership, a program office was set-up in Washington, D.C.; the second chapter of the Sorority was established outside of the United States in Nassau, Bahamas, and in 1965, she convened the first Undergraduate Leadership School held in Zion, Illinois.

Purnell is a well-respected professor, having spent more than two decades at Southern University in Baton Rouge before her retirement in 1986.

Purnell has long been dedicated to community service and launched, with her late sister Christine, a Service Center at Bethel A.M.E. Church. As a member of the AKA Sorority and the Links, Inc., she holds the distinction of being the only African American female to have been president of both organizations. She is also a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and the NAACP. She has further served her community through the Baton Rouge YWCA, Women in Politics, the League of Women Voters, The Blundon Home for Orphans, the local Girl Scouts’ Executive Board and the Steering Committee of the Status of Women in Louisiana.

Purnell is the widow of Clifton A. Purnell, Sr., long-time athletic director at Capitol Senior High School in Baton Rouge, she has one son, Clifton, Jr. and two grandchildren. She continues to live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she has been honored by several local and national organizations including the Women’s Greater Council of Baton Rouge.

Purnell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2008.066

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/28/2008

Last Name

Purnell

Maker Category
Schools

Howard High School

Allen University

University of Michigan

Clark Atlanta University

Waverly Elementary School

First Name

Julia

Birth City, State, Country

Belton

HM ID

PUR03

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

3/19/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baton Rouge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

10/21/2013

Short Description

Association chief executive and education professor Julia Purnell (1916 - 2013 ) was the sixteen president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Purnell was also the president of The Links, Inc., and served as a Southern University professor for two decades.

Employment

Southern University

Morris College

Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julia Purnell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell recalls becoming the supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell talks about her leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell talks about her leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell describes the legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell describes the legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell lists her favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell describes her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell talks about her father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julia Purnell lists her sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julia Purnell describes her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Julia Purnell describes racial discrimination in South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Julia Purnell remembers her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell remembers her elementary school education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell describes lessons from her father

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell remembers Howard High School in Georgetown, South Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell remembers Howard High School in Georgetown, South Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell describes Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell remembers early forms of entertainment

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Julia Purnell recalls experiencing color discrimination in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Julia Purnell talks about color discrimination within the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Julia Purnell remembers pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Julia Purnell remembers Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell remembers W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell talks about her Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell recalls the start of her career at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell reflects upon her teaching career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell remembers her experiences in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell describes her presidency of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Julia Purnell talks about her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Julia Purnell describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Julia Purnell reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Julia Purnell talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell narrates her photographs

Larzette Hale-Wilson

The 17th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. Larzette Golden Hale-Wilson was born in Idabel, Oklahoma, to Thomas and Mary Golden. Under Hale-Wilson’s leadership, the AKA Sorority underlined the accomplishments of contemporary African American women through the founding of its Heritage Series. She is also the first black female Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the United States to also hold a Ph.D. in accounting.

Hale-Wilson was initiated into the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Langston University in 1937. She went on to graduate summa cum laude with her B.S. degree in business administration and secondary education in 1937. Hale-Wilson then married her college sweetheart, Dr. Henry William Hale in 1940. After completing her undergraduate studies, Hale-Wilson worked as a secretary to the business manager at her alma mater. She later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her M.A. degree in accounting and finance in 1943. In 1951, Hale-Wilson passed the Certified Public Accountant Examination, and in 1955, she earned her Ph.D. in accounting. She established her own CPA office in Atlanta that same year .

In 1958, Hale-Wilson was elected to the office of International Treasurer at the Golden Anniversary Boulé and used her professional skills to initiate the AKA Sorority’s coordinated central accounting system. She went on to serve as the Basileus-Elect in 1964, and in 1966, she was elected as the 17th International President of the Sorority. In 1968, Hale-Wilson began the Heritage Series and produced more than five thousand copies of booklets on the accomplishments of contemporary African American women.

In 1971, Hale-Wilson and her family moved to Utah, and she was hired as a professor of accounting at Utah State University. She went on to write several articles in various business education journals including The Balance Sheet and the Journal of Business. In 1974, Hale-Wilson was appointed by the governor of Utah to the State’s Committee on Cultural Awareness and later she served as chair of the supervisory committee of the Utah State University Credit Union.

Larzette Hale-Wilson passed away on February 5, 2015.

Accession Number

A2008.056

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/17/2008

Last Name

Hale-Wilson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Golden

Schools

Langston University

First Name

Larzette

Birth City, State, Country

Idabel

HM ID

HAL13

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Utah

Birth Date

6/8/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Salt Lake City

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Strawberry Shortcake)

Death Date

2/5/2015

Short Description

Accountant and association chief executive Larzette Hale-Wilson (1920 - 2015 ) was the first black female CPA in the United States to also hold a Ph. D. in accounting. As president of the AKA sorority, she initiated the sorority’s coordinated central accounting system and began the Heritage Series, which produced more than five thousand copies of booklets on the accomplishments of contemporary African American women.

Employment

Utah State University

University of Utah

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Larzette Hale-Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Larzette Hale-Wilson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers the Industrial Institute for the Deaf, Blind and Orphans of the Colored Race

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls becoming First Lady of Langston University

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Larzette Hale-Wilson explains why she ran for Alpha Kappa Alpha supreme basileus

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls starting an Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter at Langston University

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers becoming the supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls her initiatives with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Larzette Hale-Wilson talks about the problem of hazing in sororities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her proudest accomplishments with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls what she learned from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her vision of sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers friends from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Larzette Hale-Wilson reflects upon her tenure as supreme basileus

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Larzette Hale-Wilson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Larzette Hale-Wilson shares advice for future Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. leaders

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls rewarding experiences as supreme basileus

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Larzette Hale-Wilson talks about The HistoryMakers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Larzette Hale-Wilson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

9$4

DATitle
Larzette Hale-Wilson recalls her initiatives with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Larzette Hale-Wilson remembers friends from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Transcript
Why do you think you were successful [as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. supreme basileus]?$$I had special expertise, I was a CPA [certified public accountant], I think that gave the sorors trust that we were handling the money right, because that's so important. I think that was the encouragement to think that I could make a difference and I did help us refine our accounting system, set up an investment fund so that we would have some savings to look forward to and I understand that that fund helped when we built the new building in Chicago [Illinois]. Two things, well, three things I did. I had a program for high school students, writing contest about black heritage and those who, papers who won, we had nine region, we'd have one from each region to win, toured the United States, very historical black places that--places where blacks had made real contributions. The other was, each, from each of the nine regions, this, the, the soro- the undergraduate soror who made the highest average, was given a free trip. After boule, we always went abroad and they would have that free trip and during the years, since then, I've had so many sorors say, "I won the trip to travel," (laughter) because that gave 'em a chance to travel abroad which they wouldn't have, some of them would not have otherwise.$$Okay, now how--$$And the third thing I did was to develop the heritage brochure [Negro Heritage Brochure] which was a little book, a booklet, that told the story of blacks who had achieved in various areas like black lawyers, black doctors, black nurses and that, it's just the size you could carry in your pocketbook but it, it was distributed to high schools over, over the country which I thought helped blacks be known by their own group.$$I remember that series. We had a--$$Oh, do you.$$--set of them at Wright State University [Dayton, Ohio], we used to use them for, like the Upward Bound program that we'd call Wright Start in those days. I remember that series. It had an illustration--$$That's wonderful.$$--on the cover, had black women in dentistry and law and different professions, yeah, I remember that.$$I think it helped encourage the undergrads too to see how people had achieved in various areas.$Who were some of the sisters that you really depended on when you were supreme basileus?$$Sumlin [HistoryMaker Bernice Irene Sumlin] was number one. She was chairman of my standards committee [National Standards Committee] and she and a soror from Clark College [Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia]. I had a committee of about seven sorors and they were, they were supportive and if we had problems, I would send the committee to solve it, rather than try to solve all of them by myself and the young lady who became after me, Mattelia Grays [HistoryMaker Mattelia B. Grays] from Houston [Texas], sometimes the incoming, the present basileus and the incoming basileus don't get along too good. Well, Mattelia and I have the record of being the best team and we've been friends ever since that. So, these seven ladies, and then I tried to pick at least one or two sorors from each region that I could relate to and they would alert me if we were having difficulties in any place and you could put out the fire before it became too dangerous.

Mattelia B. Grays

The 18th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority Incorporated (1970-1974), Mattelia Bennett Grays was born in Houston, Texas to the Reverend and Mrs. A.B. Bennett. Bennett graduated as salutatorian from Booker T. Washington High School in 1948 and went on to attend Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she was initiated into the AKA Sorority in the Beta Upsilon Chapter. She received her B.A. degree from Dillard University in 1952 and was married to Horace Grays the same year. The couple has one daughter, Karen, and a grandson, Kristopher John Howard.

Grays went on to receive her M.A. degree with honors in special education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and later received her Doctorate in educational administration from Pacific University in Sacramento, California in 1985. Grays returned to Houston to teach in the Houston Public Schools, where she also worked as a consultant for the Continuous Progress Learning Corporation and principal of Rogers Educational Enrichment Center. Grays served as principal of Rogers Educational Enrichment Center from 1970 to 1987. Under her leadership, the center served as a teacher training center and was named “One of Six Super Schools” by Texas Monthly magazine. After several years in Houston Public Schools, she began working summers with the University of Houston as a supervisor of laboratory experiences for teachers of culturally deprived children. She became District Three Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District in 1987. Grays transferred her AKA Sorority membership to the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter in Houston and served as Chapter President and Regional Director of the Sorority’s South Central Region. She was the youngest person ever elected National President of the Sorority in 1968 and was installed at the Sorority’s biennial national convention in 1970.

As National President, Grays emphasized member involvement and was adamant about every member embracing her financial responsibility to the Sorority. She headed the Sorority’s effort to purchase the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and presented a check for $20,000 to Coretta Scott King. Her focus as Sorority President included Negro heritage brochures, chapter programs designed for the specific community that the chapter served, educational grants, Job Corps and leadership training.

Grays retired from the Houston Independent School District and continues to reside in Houston, Texas. She has been honored by several organizations including the AKA Sorority. AKA Sorority’s South Central Region has a scholarship fund named in her honor, and she is an Outstanding Alumna of the Booker T. Washington High School in Houston.

Grays was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 11, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boule 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: Legacy of Leadership.

Accession Number

A2008.044

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/11/2008

Last Name

Grays

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Dillard University

University of Michigan

First Name

Mattelia

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

GRA08

Favorite Season

Fall, Winter

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cities

Favorite Quote

Live Every Day As If It Were Your Last Because Tomorrow Is Not Promised To You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/26/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Association chief executive and school superintendent Mattelia B. Grays (1931 - ) was the eighteenth international president of AKA Sorority, Inc., serving from 1970 to 1974. She was also the youngest person ever elected National President of the Sorority in 1968. Grays also served as Deputy Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

Employment

Houston Independent School District

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Turquoise

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mattelia B. Grays' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mattelia B. Grays lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her election as the vice president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her roles in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her leadership style, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about her mentors

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her initiatives for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about the regional directors of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her leadership style, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about maintaining the legacy of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mattelia B. Grays remembers the mentorship of Larzette Hale-Wilson

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mattelia B. Grays recalls opening the AKA boule banquet to men

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon her tenure as the supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mattelia B. Grays recalls leading the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to purchase the King family home

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her friendship with Esther Payne

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about her motivations as a leader

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon her achievements at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her hopes for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mattelia B. Grays recalls her pinning as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon her legacy at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon her legacy at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mattelia B. Grays describes how she would like to be remembered within the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon her commitment to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about the future of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon the importance of sisterhood

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about the requirements of members in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mattelia B. Grays reflects upon the value of sisterhood for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mattelia B. Grays recalls her mother's role as a caregiver

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mattelia B. Grays remembers her father's hardworking nature

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mattelia B. Grays describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mattelia B. Grays talks about her father's personality

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mattelia B. Grays describes how her parents met

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mattelia B. Grays recalls her mother's occupation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mattelia B. Grays narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mattelia B. Grays narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Faye Beverly Bryant

21st International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc., Faye Beverly Bryant (1982-1986) was born on March 15, 1937, in Houston, Texas. Under Bryant’s leadership, the theme of the AKA Sorority became P.O.W.E.R. During her tenure, Bryant also created the Alpha Kappa Alpha Connection, completed construction on the Sorority’s national headquarters and initiated the African Village Development Program in collaboration with Africare.

Bryant was initiated into the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at Howard University in 1955. After graduating from Howard University with her B.A. degree, Bryant returned to Houston and transferred her affiliation to the Alpha Kappa Omega Chapter of Houston in 1957. She went on to earn her M.A. degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Houston. In Houston, Bryant was instrumental in establishing the Epsilon Lambda Chapter at the University of Houston and worked as a teacher in the Houston Independent School District where the 18th International President of AKA Sorority, Ms. Mattelia B. Grays, served as Deputy Superintendent. After teaching at Booker T. Washington High School and serving as a counselor at Bellaire High School, Bryant worked as the Director of Magnet Schools for the Houston Independent School District. She was later hired as the Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources and the Deputy Superintendent for School Administration. She also served as Interim Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.

In 1982, Bryant succeeded Barbara K. Phillips as International President of the AKA Sorority and Programs of service, Organizational impact, Women in global issues and Economic development and Renewal (P.O.W.E.R.) became the agenda for the Sorority. Bryant’s administration also sought to improve the communication with individual members by approving cluster meetings where AKA Sorority members from various chapters could convene. In addition, Bryant initiated a governmental relations team to represent the Sorority at various government affairs. Bryant added the Alpha Kappa Alpha Connection to the Sorority’s list of programs and registered new voters for the 1984 U.S. Presidential election. During her tenure, Bryant met with the Council of Presidents of the eight predominantly black Greek organizations and launched a drive to leverage the collective power of Greek organizations.

In 1998, Bryant became the first African American to serve as Deputy Superintendent for School Administration in the Houston Independent School District. In 2002, Bryant retired from the school board as Executive Deputy Superintendent after forty-two years of service.

Accession Number

A2008.043

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/11/2008 |and| 2/5/2013

Last Name

Bryant

Maker Category
Middle Name

Beverly

Schools

Blanche Kelso Bruce Elementary School

E.O. Smith Middle School

Phillis Wheatley High School

University of Houston

First Name

Faye

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

BRY01

Favorite Season

Winter

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises, The Bahamas

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

3/15/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Association chief executive and school superintendent Faye Beverly Bryant (1937 - ) was the twenty-first International President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and served between 1982 and 1986. She also was the first African American to serve as Assistant Superintendent for Enrichment Programs in the Houston Independent School District.

Employment

Blue Triangle Branch, YWCA

Houston Independent School District

Booker T. Washington High School

Bellaire High School

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Faye Beverly Bryant's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her election as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her inspiration to run as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls the inspiration behind her initiatives at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her vision to ensure the longevity of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her tenure as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her responsibility as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers former supreme basileus Marjorie Holloman Parker

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls the lessons she learned as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers the challenges she faced as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about impeding false information within Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her success as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her tenure as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her greatest moments as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her legacy as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes how she would like to be remembered as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant shares her hopes for the future of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the greatest challenge for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes elements of a perfect sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Faye Beverly Bryant shares her vision for the future of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her mother's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her maternal grandmother

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her mother's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her father's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her family life

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers the Fifth Ward neighborhood in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her father, Willie Bryant

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls joining the Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her educational background

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her experiences at Blanche Kelso Bruce Elementary School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her extracurricular activities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls attending E.O. Smith Middle School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her childhood aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls attending Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her high school rivalry with Jack Yates Senior High School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her religious upbringing

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her high school influences

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her college aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her social activities in high school

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Faye Beverly Bryant's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her train ride to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her first impressions of Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her professors at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her classmates at Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, 1954

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.'s service projects

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her extracurricular activities at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers Lucy Diggs Slowe

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her summer activities during college

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls the political climate in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her political influences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers her college graduation

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her experiences working for the Blue Triangle Branch, YWCA in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the highlights of her tenure at the Blue Triangle Branch, YWCA

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls teaching at Booker T. Washington High School in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the high schools in the Houston Independent School District

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her curriculum at Booker T. Washington High School

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her role as a counselor at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Houston, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her challenges as a counselor at Bellaire High School

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her initiatives as a counselor at Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers Superintendent Billy Reagan

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her appointment as director of the magnet school program for the Houston Independent School District

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about the magnet school program

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her work with the U.S. Department of Justice

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about African American representation on the school board

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her position with the Houston Independent School District department of human services

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her role of deputy superintendent of instruction

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant remembers notable Texas politicians

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about the Houston Independent School District

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls her role as deputy superintendent of administration

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her POWER program at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.'s political involvement

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Faye Beverly Bryant recalls creating a government relations team for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her role as executive deputy superintendent of Houston Independent School District

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Faye Beverly Bryant talks about her challenges as executive deputy superintendent

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her career

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Faye Beverly Bryant reflects upon her family

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Faye Beverly Bryant describes how she would like to remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

1$7

DAStory

5$4

DATitle
Faye Beverly Bryant describes her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Faye Beverly Bryant talks about the magnet school program
Transcript
Well, speaking about leadership, what was your vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.]?$$Oh, I had, serving as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha was very, very important to me. And I see Alpha Kappa Alpha with now more than two hundred thousand women as really POWER. And that was my program emphasis. Now, that acronym stood for programs of service. That's the P, organizational impact and collaboration, women involved in global issues, economic development, and renewal. I see any time you have a membership of two hundred thousand, you can make a difference in many different areas. And if you come together and collaborate with others, you have even a bigger impact. And so, we did a lot of collaboration during my tenure as national president, as well as trying to create that power, saying to sorors, you can run for office and your, your city council, and your county government, and your state government, and you can do that. We were able, you know, time has a lot to do with everything. During my tenure, it was a presidential election year and so, we did a lot of voter registration. We put one hundred thousand folks on the registration rolls during that time. It was a time that we had the first woman running for vice president, Geraldine Ferraro. We had the first black Miss America. I mean, there were things happening during that time, and that became a part of our thrust. We were very, very active with other groups in pushing our agenda. We got a chance to go to Kenya to the women's conference there and make a presentation with the Kenyan university women. And so, we were not only involved at home, but with women issues across the country. It was really, really an exciting time. When people see me coming now, they say, "There's that power lady," (laughter).$Now, what was the idea behind the magnet schools anyway?$$Our theme at that time was the finest education that money can't buy. That was the theme. That's how we sold it. We believe that if you create programs of interest to students that they will achieve. And so, we had themes at K through twelve [kindergarten to twelfth grade]. Fine arts, we had math and science. We had in the high school level, we had kids learn how to fly planes with air knot--I've forgotten that title of that school, but anyway, they learned how to fly a plane.$$Aviation?$$Aviation. We had chemical science, science program in one high school 'cause it's all industry in this area. And we had the support of our industries in this area. They helped to support those programs that we put together. We had foreign language programs. We had--Yates [Jack Yates Senior High School; Jack Yates High School, Houston, Texas] had a communications high school. They still--and these programs are still going, so, and we must have done a pretty good job. We--and so, thematic--if a kid is interested in music, he's going to do well in reading and everything else 'cause he's coming to school excited about what he's doing. We had horticulture for the little kids in elementary. We had--I'm trying, I'm going through them. As a part of that magnet school program, we set up a camping program where we took a predominantly white campus, a predominantly black, and a predominantly Hispanic, and they went to camp for a week. We own this property--well, a family owns this property up in the Huntsville area, called Camp Olympia [Trinity, Texas]--best experience those kids had. Then we had, we taught them while they were there, the outdoors, science, and, you know, and they still go there. It's a wonderful pro- but all of that, we tried to make it very exciting. We had to decide--where do you put these programs, so we chose campuses where it wouldn't be too difficult to transport kids. You had to do all of that as you created this program. And it's still real--the magnet schools, they line up to get in them right now. And so, as I look back with my involvement in the Hou--that's probably my legacy to the district [Houston Independent School District], the magnet school program.

Eva Evans

The 24th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (1994 – 1998) and educational administrator, Eva Lois Evans was born in Memphis, Tennessee but lived most of her life in Detroit, Michigan. Under Evans’ leadership, the theme of Alpha Kappa Alpha became “Building the Future: The Alpha Kappa Alpha Strategy: Making the Net Work.”

Reared in Detroit, Michigan, Evans attended the city’s public elementary and high schools and went on to earn her B.S. degree from Wayne State University. She later attended Michigan State University where she received her M.A. degree and her Ph.D. While at Wayne State, Evans was initiated into the Xi Chapter of the AKA Sorority. For a period, she was affiliated with the Detroit Chapters and transferred her membership to the Delta Tau Omega Chapter after returning to Lansing.

With her career in education, Evans served as a classroom teacher, building administrator, Division Director, Assistant Superintendent and then the number two position of Deputy Superintendent of Lansing Public Schools when she retired.

Evans has served the AKA Sorority in a variety of key roles. At the local level, she served as graduate advisor, auditor and chapter Basileus. In addition, she served as Regional Director of the Great Lakes Region and at the national level, she was the National Program Chairman. She was also a frequent workshop presenter at Boulés and the Leadership Fellows Program. Evans worked with the Sorority’s 20th International President, Dr. Barbara K. Phillips, and helped to shape the national foci of her administration.

Evans was elected First-Vice President in 1990 in Richmond, Virginia. She was installed as the 24th International President in 1994 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of Evans’ administration was “Building the Future: The Alpha Kappa Alpha Strategy: Making the Net Work.” She networked with major entities in the United States to make this a reality including, Elizabeth Dole of the American Red Cross and the Pillsbury Corporation for a partnership in mathematics and science (PIMS) which became her administration’s signature program. She also began the Public Policy Forums in Washington, D.C.

At the 1996 Boulé, the Sorority made a $50,000 contribution to the NAACP, a $75,000 contribution to UNCF, and in 1998, the Sorority made additional contributions to the NAACP and UNCF of $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

In her home community of Lansing, Michigan, Evans has served as many “firsts.” The first female Deputy Superintendent of Lansing Schools; Campaign Chairman and Chairman of the Tri-County United Way; Vice Chairman of the Lansing Board of Water and Light; Chairman of the Lansing Community College Foundation; Sparrow Hospital Women’s Board of Managers and Trustee of the Michigan State University Board of the College of Education. Evans was appointed by the state governor to serve on the Michigan Council for the Humanities and was Chairman of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Evans has received countless honors in her hometown including the YWCA’s Diana Award for Excellence in Education; the NAACP’s Educator of the Year; Lansing Chamber of Commerce’s Althena Award; Crystal Apple Award for Education from Michigan State University and the Applause Award from the Lansing Center for the Arts. She also has served as the Grand Marshall of the African American Parade and Family Picnic in Lansing which began in 1999. In 2006, Evans was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.

Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 28, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2008.036

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/28/2008

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Schools

Cass Technical High School

Northern High School

Wayne State University

Michigan State University

First Name

Eva

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

EVA04

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/14/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Lansing

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Clams

Short Description

Association chief executive and school superintendent Eva Evans (1935 - ) was the 24th international president of the AKA Sorority. She was also a retired education administrator who was the Lansing Public Schools Deputy Superintendent for Instruction in Lansing, Michigan.

Employment

Joyce Elementary School

Lansing Public Schools

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Light Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eva Evans' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eva Evans lists her favorite things

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eva Evans describes becoming Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eva Evans describes her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eva Evans explains how she implemented her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eva Evans describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eva Evans shares lessons she learned about leadership as Supreme Basileus in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eva Evans describes her greatest achievements and moments as Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eva Evans reflects upon her legacy as national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eva Evans reflects upon the history and the future of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eva Evans describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eva Evans talks about her maternal ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about the educational achievements of her maternal family

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eva Evans describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eva Evans describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eva Evans describes how her parents met and moved to Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eva Evans describes her parents' personalities and who she resembles

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eva Evans recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eva Evans describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eva Evans remembers her childhood dance lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about her love for radio and movies growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eva Evans talks about her church and schools she attended in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eva Evans remembers her love of studying and teaching English

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eva Evans recalls her mentors in school

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eva Evans remembers famous peers from Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eva Evans describes her interests and activities at Northern High School in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about attending Eastern Michigan College in Ypsilanti, Michigan and Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eva Evans describes her experiences as a student teacher in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eva Evans talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eva Evans talks about her activism in the NAACP

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eva Evans talks about the NAACP desegregation suit against Lansing, Michigan schools

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eva Evans talks about the impact of desegregation on public education in Lansing, Michigan

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eva Evans talks about her dissertation on teacher expectations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about her research on teacher expectations and its impact on students

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eva Evans talks about the work of Alex Kotlowitz

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eva Evans remembers Magic Johnson

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eva Evans remembers her time as deputy superintendent for support services and deputy superintendent for instruction in Lansing, Michigan schools

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eva Evans talks about being the first vice president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eva Evans recounts her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority presidential inauguration

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eva Evans talks about preparation to becoming 23rd Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about starting a public policy forum for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eva Evans remembers the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority convention in Baltimore, Maryland in 1996

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eva Evans explains Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Take Five voter registration program

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Eva Evans explains how she averted a crisis with the Cleveland Jobs Corps

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Eva Evans reflects upon her achievements and her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Eva Evans describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Eva Evans talks about her matured perspective on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's relationship to other African American sororities

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Eva Evans reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Eva Evans talks about her community

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Eva Evans shares her hopes for an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority senior residence

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Eva Evans describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Eva Evans narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Eva Evans reflects upon her legacy as national president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Eva Evans talks about starting a public policy forum for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Washington, D.C.
Transcript
All right. This, this following set of questions is about your legacy. Compare the Alpha Kappa Alpha [Sorority, Inc.] you inherited from your predecessor to the one you left for your successor.$$Well, when I left--when I got to alpha ka--came into my presidency of Alpha Kappa Alpha [AKA], it was a good time to be the national president. My predecessor had built a headquarters, not the whole headquarters, the third floor of the headquarters and had gotten it paid for. Now, of course, there were repercussions from that but I was able to recoup some of the lost membership and I think move on from there. Alpha Kappa Alpha is an humungous sized organization, so it doesn't shift easily. Programs that [HistoryMaker] Dr. Mary Shy Scott in Atlanta [Georgia] put together, some people are still doing those as well as some people are still doing science and math. Some people are still working on the [American] Red Cross, so every president leaves something. I think that I left, though, the notion of partnering with other organizations to leverage our influence. When I was president, we partnered with Pillsbury to underwrite some of our programs and the quid pro quo of that was the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha who were science majors and math majors and et cetera, it helped Pillsbury with its program to diversify its workforce. So, we had science people and math people who went to work for Pillsbury and they were grateful and we were grateful for their underwriting our program, so, the notion of partnershipping. I partnershipped with Elizabeth Dole, as I told you, and I worked with HUD [U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] and so on to get this building built in North Carolina. I think I left that idea, leverage. I left the idea I think, too, that programs should be global, that all of us should turn our attention to whatever it is the sorority is trying to accomplish.$$Okay. Now, which of your contributions had the most impact?$$Who knows (laughter)? I don't know, I started a public policy forum in Washington [D.C.] because I felt that a group like ours should have a presence in the nation's capital. That's continued and I think that was impactful for Washington to know about a group like ours. I think the understanding that we were bright and we were the best and brightest the nation could produce bar race or anything else, and we could use that for something, that if we decided--I think that I was forever articulating, we're the best and brightest and we can do whatever we choose. I think it resonated and whether it set or not, I think we, we know that better.$$Okay. All right. Now, what accomplishments of your administration do you want to be remembered for?$$I'd like to be remembered for the, the Ivy Acres [Winston-Salem, North Carolina], our center for the aging. I'd like to be remembered for the public policy. I'd like to be remembered because even though I didn't have girls, I was convinced that our sorority would be better off if our daughters had an equal shot at membership, so I campaigned for four years along with everybody else and me, but I had a focus on it, that we would leave legacy, that our daughters could be AKAs, as long as they held the same standards, the same academic averages, they had the same as everybody else, that we couldn't keep them out of Alpha Kappa Alpha. And my story I used to tell was, hey, if you went to Harvard [University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] or Yale [University, New Haven, Connecticut] or the University of Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan], you got extra points for being a legacy. We should give extra points.$Yeah, [HistoryMaker] Eddie Williams, yeah.$$Eddie Williams. I--when I was president, I told you I felt that we needed a presence in Washington, D.C. We're smart enough. And of--we had five members of the [U.S.] House of Representatives who were AKAs [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.], so I figured, hey, let's use that to our advantage and we can help them, they can help us. So, we would have what was called a public policy forum each year in Washington when I was president, and one--we would focus on different things. And we would have the senators and the--well, the only--well, we had black people that--in the main, but I'm--I--if I'm not mistaking, I believe Mr. [Orrin] Hatch came over once because one of our themes was--you see, the president picks the [U.S.] Supreme Court and I was interested in Supreme Court justices that year and I was interested, equally interested, in people who got into federal judgeships down at these levels, 'cause I was in federal court two times on school deseg [desegregation]. One judge was wonderful, one was not, so I understood that process. I had wanted to work with Eddie Williams because I felt that we in the United States, we could have benefited from Alpha Kappa Alpha's presence in a Black Think Tank like that. He and--I, I ran out of time. I couldn't do all the things I wanted to do. I got to meet him one time and didn't get, get a chance before my time was up to, to finish all my stuff. We had very good friends in the White House [Washington, D.C.] thanks to [HistoryMaker] Ofield [Dukes], [HistoryMaker] Alexis Herman. We had Bob Johnson [HistoryMaker Ben Johnson], wonderful man in the White House. Oh, my. His office was right next door to [First Lady] Hillary [Rodham] Clinton's office and right around the corner from himself. But, he would arrange the speakers. He would help us get them for many of the public policy forums that we had. And because so many of the female members of the legislature were African Americans, I had an opportunity to address the Congressional Black Caucus at their--they met once a month, and I came to Washington once to meet with them. And guess who was waiting in the hall when I was waiting to get in? George Stephanopoulos. And I remember thinking, boy, go and shine your shoes (laughter). But, I did ask the [Congressional] Black Caucus to come to Baltimore [Maryland]. And do you know they came? We, we got a bus for them--

Bernice Irene Sumlin

The 19th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc., Bernice Irene Sumlin (1974-1978) was born on November 29, 1926, in Dayton, Ohio, to Wright R. and Gussie Bingham Sumlin.

Sumlin was initiated into the Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., at Wilberforce College in 1946. After graduating with her B.S. degree in 1948, Sumlin transferred her Sorority membership to the Beta Eta Omega Chapter in Dayton. She furthered her education by graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she earned her M.A. degree. Sumlin then began her career in education. She served as a high school teacher, guidance counselor, community counselor and secondary principal before retiring. She then worked as an industrial consultant for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

In 1962, Sumlin succeeded LaRue Walter Frederick as Great Lakes Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., in Detroit, Michigan. Following a productive four year term she was appointed as chairman of the Sorority’s National Standards Committee in 1966. In 1972, Sumlin was elected First Supreme Anti-Basileus at the 45th Boule in Denver, Colorado.

In 1974, Sumlin was elected the 19th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Sumlin’s administration donated $25,000 to Central State University for the restoration of the Hallie Q. Brown Collection of rare books by and about blacks, which had been damaged by a tornado. Additionally, during her tenure, AKA contributed half a million dollars to the United Negro College Fund. On October 25, 1974, Sumlin answered a challenge given by retiring Executive Director Carey B. Preston and initiated the Alpha Kappa Alpha Reading Experience, a national program offering individualized tutoring to undereducated inner-city youth.

In 1975, at the invitation of President and Mrs. Gerald Ford, Sumlin represented the Sorority at a reception held at the White House launching the International Women’s Year Conference. Later, she represented the Sorority at the International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico, City. In addition, Sumlin’s administration saw the installation of the Sorority’s Founders’ Window at Howard University in Rankin Chapel. She also began the recognition of sorority members with twenty-five years of service as Silver Sorors and those with fifty years of service as Golden Sorors.

Sumlin was a presenter at the Fourth African American Summit in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1997, and attended the 1999 Summit in Ghana. Her involvement in civic, educational and professional services has brought her many awards and citations, including an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Central State University. She has also been cited for outstanding service by the National Council of Negro Women, the Continental Society, the A.M.E. church and Outstanding Women of Dayton.

Sumlin passed away on January 11, 2018.

Accession Number

A2008.030

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/26/2008

Last Name

Sumlin

Maker Category
Middle Name

Irene

Schools

Weaver Elementary School

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Central State University

Wilberforce University

First Name

Bernice

Birth City, State, Country

Dayton

HM ID

SUM01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

11/29/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dayton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

1/11/2018

Short Description

Association chief executive and educator Bernice Irene Sumlin (1926 - 2018) was the 19th International President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She served as a high school teacher, guidance counselor, community counselor and secondary principal. After retiring from education, she worked as an industrial consultant for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Employment

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Pink and Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bernice Irene Sumlin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her election as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her administration of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her leadership style at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls lessons from her tenure at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her challenges at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers Barbara McKinzie

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bernice Irene Sumlin reflects upon her time as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers her successes as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers sponsoring the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes the importance of scholarship at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bernice Irene Sumlin talks about the future of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bernice Irene Sumlin reflects upon the importance of sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bernice Irene Sumlin lists her favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes the story of her birth

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes how she takes after her father

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers the Weaver neighborhood of Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls the Wayman Chapel A.M.E. Church in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers segregation in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls the shopping district of Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her early interest in oratory

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her elementary education

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers her influences at Weaver Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her interests at Weaver Elementary School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her teachers at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her activities at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers her high school classmates

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her relationship with her brother

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers when her brother was drafted

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her theatre involvement in high school

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers her commencement speech

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls the Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her work for Charles H. Wesley

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers Hallie Quinn Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls the termination of Charles H. Wesley, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls the termination of Charles H. Wesley, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes how she became a public school teacher

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers teaching at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers becoming a public school administrator

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her support of William Harrison

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her student, James E. Farmer

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers becoming supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bernice Irene Sumlin recalls her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bernice Irene Sumlin reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers school desegregation in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bernice Irene Sumlin reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bernice Irene Sumlin talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes her involvement at the Wayman Chapel A.M.E. Church in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Bernice Irene Sumlin describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$1

DAStory

2$10

DATitle
Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers becoming supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Bernice Irene Sumlin remembers her successes as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Transcript
Now in 1974 you became the supreme basileus of the national organization of, of Alpha Kappa Alpha [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.], right?$$That is correct.$$And can you tell us about how that happened? I know you were, you know, just tell us a little bit about that.$$I was asked by a past supreme to run for the national office. At that time Alpha Kappa Alpha was carrying thirty or forty thousand members. And I said, oh, I don't know whether I can do that or not but they told me go on and run. So Larzette Hale [HistoryMaker Larzette Hale-Wilson], the past national president, encouraged me to run. And she was a CPA [certified public accountant] within her own rights and she was Dr. Hale. They were formerly from Oklahoma. And so I did and I won. And I kind of surprised myself. And it was one of the most memorable experiences I believe I've ever had in my life. And I had excellent cooperation the whole four years that I served as international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha. And I was one of the first supremes out, well, to tell you the truth I was the first supreme out of, I started to say the State of Ohio but that wasn't true because we had L. Pearl [Lottie Pearl Mitchell] up in Cleveland [Ohio] but Dayton, Ohio. And I have to laugh at myself because when they elected me, everybody said, "We never heard of national presidents coming out of Dayton, Ohio." I said, "Well, you got one now (laughter)." And we laughed about that, you know. I said, "Little old Dayton had a--," so then I told one of my friends I said, "We have established the planes for the United States of America." I said, "The Wright brothers [Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright] are from Dayton, Ohio." And they said, "What?" I said, "The Wright brothers who established the planes that you fly on are from Dayton, Ohio." And I said, "And that's where I'm from." They said, "Dayton, Ohio." I said, "So now you can note that there is great performers from Dayton, Ohio."$It is said that we do not remember days, we remember moments. As supreme basileus what was your greatest moment, your proudest moment, your happiest moment?$$I think one of the happiest moments I had was when I brought all of the national presidents who were living and able to come to the national headquarters and I brought them and they were so thrilled. We had, at that time we had a national president that was a, that was moving toward a 102 years old, and I brought all of them together at our, at our headquarters. And they enjoyed that meeting. We had a meeting in which they sat down and they had a chance to talk to one another. That's the first time we had had them together and to have them all together at our national headquarters in Chicago [Illinois], they were very elated and excited and they never forgot talking about it, would forget talking about it or thanking me for that opportunity of bringing them all together. And they had a chance to go to the then dinner and we just rode them around Chicago, our national headquarters, and they were so elated. They were women then that was eighty, most of them were in their nineties, and we had some that was moving toward a hundred and we were able to have them all in Chicago.$$Now, were these ladies the founders of AKA [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.]?$$They were national presidents.$$Okay.$$I think we had one founder living or I buried the last of our founders during my administration. And we buried her in Washington, D.C. But I buried two of our founders during my administration.

Norma White

25th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Norma Solomon White (1998 – 2002) was born on November 17, 1934 in Jacksonville, Florida. Under White’s leadership the Alpha Kappa Alpha administration focused its agenda on “Blazing New Trails.”

White was inducted into the Beta Alpha chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1950. As a student at FAMU, White was the first female member of the famed FAMU Marching 100 Band to graduate. She graduated in 1955 with her B.S. degree and furthered her education by earning her M.A. degree in music at Columbia University. After graduating, White pursued a career in education in the public schools of Jacksonville, Florida.

White served as Regional Director for the South Atlantic Region from 1974 until 1978 and was successful in raising $100,000 for the United Negro College Fund. She later was elected to the office of First Supreme Anti-Basileus at the 56th Boule in Indianapolis, Indiana. In that capacity, she also served as the first vice-president of the sorority’s Educational Foundation Board. Then, in 1998, White became the 25th Supreme Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the Boule held in Chicago, Illinois. The theme for her administration embraced six target areas: leadership development, education, health, the black family, economics and the arts. White also initiated the sorority’s “On Track” after school program which targeted at-risk students in grades three through six to prepare them for middle school.

White is Alpha Kappa Alpha’s first Supreme Basileus to be part of a mother-daughter legacy and is honored as the first female member of the famed FAMU Marching 100 Band through Jacksonville, Florida’s proclaimed day for her.

Dr. Norma Solomon White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 27, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.033

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/27/2008

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

New Stanton High School

First Name

Norma

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

WHI15

Favorite Season

Spring

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

The Door to Success is Marked 'PUSH.'

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

11/17/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jacksonville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood (Crabs, Shrimp)

Short Description

Association chief executive Norma White (1934 - ) was the 25th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also served as an educator in Jacksonville, Florida Public Schools for many years.

Employment

Duval County School District

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Green, Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Norma White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Norma White lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Norma White recalls her election as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Norma White describes her vision for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Norma White talks about her achievements as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Norma White describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Norma White recalls lessons from her tenure at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Norma White talks about the challenges she faced during her tenure at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Norma White describes her initiatives at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Norma White describes her initiatives at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Norma White recalls her greatest moments as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Norma White reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Norma White describes the commitment to service at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Norma White talks about the future of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Norma White describes the importance of new members to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Norma White reflects upon the idea of sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Norma White describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Norma White remembers her maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Norma White talks about her mother's accomplishments

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Norma White talks about her mother's experience in college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Norma White describes her father's childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Norma White describes her paternal grandparents

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Norma White talks about her paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Norma White describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Norma White talks about how her parents met

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Norma White talks about her achievements as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Norma White describes her earliest childhood memory
Transcript
How was your vision communicated and carried out throughout the sororities programs during your administration?$$At my election [to supreme basileus], the program was presented at the boule to everyone and then I had the first international program lunch after I had been in office a couple of months where we invited all chapters to send representatives to a central spot so that the total program, the total vision could be presented to them and in this way everybody went home with the same information, with the same enthusiasm, so that they could go back and motivate their chapters. It was also communicated through our Ivy Leaf. Every issue of the Ivy Leaf carried my message and information about program, what it is and how it should be implemented. Another part of that vision was preparing our students, and so we had a program called ON TRACK and the goal there was to keep twenty thousand students on track during my term of leadership. And we wanted to keep them on track academically, socially, physically, spiritually, and chapters were asked to conduct programs around the country that would help to do this and we were able, we were very successful with the program. We didn't reach our twenty thousand goal, but we did keep fifteen thousand on track. At the end of the four years, the chapters who had implemented the program were, should have proven to us that the children stayed in school, they were not suspended, they got promoted, you know they were good citizens, they felt good about themselves because self-esteem is so important with young children. We started with the children in sixth grade and worked with them over the four year period. So, that, that worked out very well for us.$$So you told me some things that you did to communicate your vision, was there anything else that you specifically did to successfully communicate your vision and effectively institutionalize it as a guiding principle?$$Well, I went around the country speaking in and out of the United States to chapters and to various communities, to all of the regional conferences. We have ten regions in the sorority [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.] and so I went to all the conferences every year and talked with the members there about what we were doing. We started with the state of the sorority and in the state of the sorority speech, that's where I would tell them what the goal, goals were for that year and what we had accomplished during that time. And so this helped members because I would say we have about ten to twelve thousand members who go to regional conferences, you know when you combine all of them together, so to be able to reach that many people. And then we also have cluster meetings. Every region has from six to eight or ten clusters, so I was able to go to many of those and talk with the members because that, to have a national president there so that they can look eye, eye to eyeball it makes a difference. And of course you know it's good to read about it in the Ivy Leaf, but then it's also good to see that person so that they can talk with you and feel in touch and hug and kiss. And then we made, well at that program launch, we did video on sisterhood and that was shown at all of the meetings and various chapters purchased the video. So in fact all of the chapters were given a copy so that when they brought new members into the sorority they could share this with them. And in this video it talked about the sisterhood, what it really is, and what is expected of members and what the sorority has done and can do and how they can connect and communicate and be able to inspire others through what we do.$Now when you think about the neighborhood that you grew up in, what really, what comes to your mind? What, what is your earliest childhood memory?$$When we were in the core of the city and we lived on the main street called Beaver Street and of course there was a market right across the street that was called the city market and of course I remember sitting on the porch on the swings just swinging, swinging, swinging watching the people go over to the city market all of the time and with it being a busy street and of course at that time we had no stoplights or anything. I was not allowed to go over there without my parents [Ruth Cummings Solomon and Gilbert Solomon] or some older person taking me across the streets, but I would look forward to the time of going over there. And of course we walked to school, all of us in the neighborhood walked to school. There was a train that divided one section of the city from the other, and my mother always told me there were trains that would stop on the track and just stay there for an hour and the children would crawl under the train to get to the other side so they wouldn't have to wait, and she always told me to never, if I had to wait two hours, just wait, but don't ever do that because one child crawled under there and got killed one time. And so I remember how we would just stand there and wait for the train to pass by and then we would walk home and everybody sort of lived right, right around in that little circle. One of my good friends now told me that she never could understand why I could walk straight down Beaver Street and turn the corner and I was right there at the church [West Union Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida]. But, she said I would come down her street, which was about three blocks away. She never could understand why I did that, and she said every time I passed by her grandmother would say, "Oh there's that Solomon girl [HistoryMaker Norma White], and she is just so, look how she walks. She has so much poise and dignity." She said, "I would get so angry with you." I said, "Why did she come down this street?" I said, "I was going to pick up this other little girl who went to our church" 'cause they didn't go to our church. I said, "I would come by to pick up Monty [ph.]." She said, "Well I never knew until now that that's why you came all the way down there." I said, "Yeah I would come to get her and then we would walk on to church together."

Mary Shy Scott

The 23rd International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc., Mary Shy Scott was born on July 19, 1930, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Robert Shy and Flora Spearman Shy. Under Scott’s leadership, the AKA Sorority initiated an international chapter in London, England; established a non-military memorial to World War II veterans; helped to encourage reading through a partnership with the Library of Congress; and completed the building of an addition to the national headquarters.

Raised in Atlanta where she attended public elementary and high schools, Scott went on to enroll at Spelman College, where she graduated with her B.A. degree. In 1953, Scott was initiated into the Kappa Omega Chapter of the AKA Sorority. She continued her education by earning her M.A. degree from New York University. Afterwards, she completed her post graduate work in the humanities at New York University and Georgia State University, where she became certified in supervision and administration.

From 1982 to 1984, Scott served as the regional director of the Atlanta branch of the AKA Sorority. Later, in 1986, Scott became the first Anti-Basileus elect at the Boulé in Detroit, Michigan. In 1990, Scott was elected as the 23rd International President of AKA Sorority, Inc., at the Boulé in Richmond, Virginia. As international president, Scott was instrumental in the first non-military memorial to World War II veterans at Pearl Harbor, dedicated to the unsung hero, Doris Miller. She also completed the building and financing of the third story addition to the AKA Sorority national headquarters. Then, in 1992, Scott used her position to establish an international chapter in London, England, which existed until 2006. During her administration, she formed a partnership with the Library of Congress in a national campaign to promote reading. She also renewed the AKA Cleveland Job Corps contract.

Aside from her leadership roles in the AKA Sorority, Scott has worked as an educator, elementary school music specialist and motivational speaker. She has received many awards and recognitions including the Prominent American Personality Award from the President of the Republic of Benin. In 1990, Scott received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama.

Mary Scott passed away on April 15, 2013.

Accession Number

A2008.026

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/24/2008

Last Name

Scott

Maker Category
Middle Name

Shy

Schools

Edwin P. Johnson Elementary School

David T. Howard Elementary School

Booker T. Washington High School

Spelman College

First Name

Mary

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

SCO06

Favorite Season

None

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/19/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apples

Death Date

4/15/2013

Short Description

Association chief executive and elementary school music teacher Mary Shy Scott (1930 - 2013 ) was the 23rd International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority. Under Scott's leadership, AKA established the first non-military World War II veterans' memorial at Pearl Harbor, dedicated to the unsung hero, Doris Miller. She used her position to expand the sorority's headquarters, to establish an international chapter in London, and to promote reading in a national campaign with the Library of Congress. She was also a motivational speaker.

Employment

Atlanta Public Schools

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mary Shy Scott's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mary Shy Scott describes her ascension to supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mary Shy Scott talks about her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mary Shy Scott recalls implementing her vision for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mary Shy Scott describes her leadership style

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mary Shy Scott remembers the influence of Margaret Davis Bowen

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mary Shy Scott recalls lessons from her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority leadership

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mary Shy Scott describes the Ivy Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mary Shy Scott recalls an irritation leading Alpha Kappa Alpha

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mary Shy Scott remembers a lesson from her father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mary Shy Scott reflects upon her success as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mary Shy Scott reflects upon her tenure as supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mary Shy Scott recalls paying the mortgage on the Ivy Center in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mary Shy Scott reflects upon her legacy at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mary Shy Scott talks about her accomplishments at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mary Shy Scott describes her hopes for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's future

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mary Shy Scott talks about the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's commitment to service

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mary Shy Scott describes her ideal of the perfect sisterhood at Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mary Shy Scott lists her favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mary Shy Scott describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mary Shy Scott describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mary Shy Scott remembers her mother

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mary Shy Scott talks about her mother's education, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mary Shy Scott talks about her mother's education, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mary Shy Scott describes her father's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mary Shy Scott remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mary Shy Scott describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mary Shy Scott talks about how her parents met

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mary Shy Scott describes her parents' professions

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mary Shy Scott remembers the Summerhill neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mary Shy Scott recalls her extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Mary Shy Scott describes Edwin P. Johnson Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Mary Shy Scott lists her siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Mary Shy Scott describes her elementary school experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mary Shy Scott describes her primary education

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mary Shy Scott remembers Grady Homes in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mary Shy Scott recalls her childhood music lessons

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mary Shy Scott remembers World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mary Shy Scott talks about her high school aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mary Shy Scott describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mary Shy Scott talks about Capitol Homes in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mary Shy Scott recalls her teachers

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mary Shy Scott remembers segregation in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Mary Shy Scott describes Brooklyn School of Dance in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mary Shy Scott recalls studying ballet and tap dance in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mary Shy Scott remembers learning about race in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mary Shy Scott recalls living in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mary Shy Scott remembers Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mary Shy Scott describes her social life at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mary Shy Scott remembers her introduction to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mary Shy Scott recalls her early teaching career

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mary Shy Scott remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mary Shy Scott recalls her active participation in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

5$12

DATitle
Mary Shy Scott describes her leadership style
Mary Shy Scott describes her elementary school experiences
Transcript
As far as your leaders- leadership style, what leadership style did you use to bring your vision to fruition?$$First of all, I worked very, very, very carefully to let every soror I know that love was gonna be the theme of my administration. I sent every message out with love, and they felt it. I touched sorors: sorors who were in wheelchairs, sorors who were taller than me, sorors who were smaller than me. But they felt the love that I was offering them, and so we were able then to get together and work together and know together that we were on a mission and that was to serve the world through Alpha Kappa Alpha [Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.]. And I think that was the thing that helped because sorors still write me now and sign their letters, love.$$As the individual with the ultimate responsibility for making decisions which would shape Alpha Kappa Alpha, what was the fundamental test you applied?$$Well, the fundamen- fundamental test was to see after a suggestion was made, after it was carried from the board table into each chapter, I would go into regional conferences, I would visit chapters across the world, I would speak to chapters and I couldn't get a feel. Once I'm in that chapter, or once I'm in the aggregation of the people they got together, I could get a feel of what was out there as a result of what I had put out there with my directorate. And it was excellent because you could feel the response, you could feel the love. You could also feel the seriousness of the program entities. Families were coming to worship with us. As I spoke over in Nassau [Bahamas], the ladies who were in charge of getting us in the island were right on top of us, you know, showing that they cared about what we were bringing into their island. When we went to England to do the chapters there, and set up the charters for those chapters, many, many, ladies who were non Alpha Kappa Alpha women knew about Alpha Kappa Alpha and came to help us and support us. That was my real test of what we were doing and making a decision, is it working?$Tell me more about your elementary school days in school. What about the books, and was there anything that you can look back on and say could've or should have been better?$$Sure. First of all, if you ask me about my elementary school days, I was too young and too inexperienced to know that the books we were using were passed down to us. When I got to David T. Howard [David T. Howard Elementary School; David T. Howard High School, Atlanta, Georgia], I was yet so busy, I knew I had a textbook, I'm not sure that I knew and I, I think I can say I didn't know that we didn't have all the textbooks we needed because there again, the teachers created enough for us to get what we were supposed to get and feel that we were getting it. It was only when I started teaching right out of college that I realized that every book that came through my desk was from one of the white schools and every elementary majorette suit I got came from another white school and they passed them down to us. Now that was when my fight started with the system. I didn't want the children to put those dirty suits on and didn't let 'em put it on. I talked to the parents and very early in my young teaching career, I found parents in the community who could make majorette suits and I really was upset about the books, but we were at that point--in 1950, when I started teaching, they were still handing us books from Sylvan High [Sylvan Hills High School, Atlanta, Georgia] and from the other schools.

Barbara McKinzie

The 27th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (2006 - ) Barbara Anne McKinzie was born on January 2, 1954 in Ada, Oklahoma to Leonard T. and Johnnie M. Moses Watson. Under McKinzie’s leadership the AKA Sorority Annual Boulé’s revenues have increased and video telecasting was instituted to accommodate conference seating in multiple areas. In addition, the Sorority’s operational and delivery systems were updated and upgraded.

McKinzie attended East Central University where she was initiated into the Eta Pi Chapter of the AKA Sorority in 1973. After receiving her B.S. degree in 1976, McKinzie went on to earn her M.A. degree from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in 1997. In 1978, McKinzie became the Financial Advisor for AKA Sorority National President Barbara K. Phillips and served again in this capacity in 1982 under the leadership of Ms. Faye B. Bryant. She went on to become the Fourth Executive Director of the AKA Sorority in 1985. During that year, McKinzie also assumed the position of Second Secretary for the Sorority’s Educational Advancement Foundation where she increased the Sorority’s annual cash flow by more than $1 million. Afterwards, in 1998, McKinzie was elected as the Sorority’s International Treasurer. She also chaired the Finance and Strategic Planning Committee. Under her leadership, the Committee issued a host of recommendations that will strengthen the AKA Sorority for decades to come.

In 2000, McKinzie ran unopposed for another two-year term as International Treasurer. That following year, she was recognized for her achievements and was named the 2001 Woman of the Year by the American Biographical Institute. The New York Network Journal later named McKinzie one of the Top 25 Outstanding Business Women of 2002. That same year, she was elected First Vice President of the AKA Sorority thereby positioning her to be International President. In 2006, during the Sorority’s convention in Detroit, she ascended to AKA’s top leadership position.

McKinzie augments her commitment to AKA Sorority, Inc. by serving other organizations whose missions parallel her passion. She became a member of the Board of Directors of Africare in 2005. Its programs primarily address health and HIV/AIDS and agricultural needs. McKinzie has also served as Comptroller for the Chicago Housing Authority.

As International President of AKA Sorority, McKinzie adopted as her signature program theme "Extraordinary Service Program", ESP, which is an acronym for Economics, Service (Sisterhood) and Partnerships. This program is achieved through five platforms focused on entrepreneurship: economic keys to success, economic strength of the black family, economics in technology (the first Undergraduate Signature Program), health resource management and economics, resulting in program funding exceeding $3 million and two million hours of service in 2007.

She has received numerous honors in recognition of her leadership commitment and documented results. In 2006, at Stillman College’s 130th Founder’s Day Convocation, McKinzie received her doctor of humane letters from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

McKinzie has served as comptroller for the Chicago Housing Authority and Deputy Director of Finance and Administration for Chicago’s Neighborhood Housing Services. She is currently President of BMC Consulting, a firm that specializes in developing financial strategies for corporations and non-profit entities.

McKinzie was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 20, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2008.021

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/20/2008

Last Name

McKinzie

Maker Category
Schools

Napier Grade School

Ada Junior High School

Byng High School

East Central University

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Ada

HM ID

MCK14

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

Make Excellence A Habit.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/2/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Olympia Fields

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Short Description

Association chief executive Barbara McKinzie (1954 - ) was a certified public accountant, CEO of an accounting firm and the twenty-seventh supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Employment

Touche and Ross Co.

Deloitte Haskins and Sells

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Coopers and Lybrand

Whitman Corporation

Illinois State Toll Highway Authority

Salomon Smith Barney

Hollywood Casino Corporation

Forest Preserve District of Cook County

BMC Associates

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara McKinzie's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara McKinzie lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara McKinzie recalls her ascension to supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara McKinzie describes her vision for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara McKinzie talks about the Extraordinary Service Program

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara McKinzie reflects upon her leadership style at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara McKinzie reflects upon her role as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara McKinzie describes her achievements as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara McKinzie reflects upon her legacy in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara McKinzie describes how she would like to be remembered in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Barbara McKinzie talks about the history of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara McKinzie talks about the future of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara McKinzie describes her idea of perfect sisterhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara McKinzie describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara McKinzie talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara McKinzie describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara McKinzie talks about how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara McKinzie describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara McKinzie remembers her neighborhood in Ada, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara McKinzie describes her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Barbara McKinzie recalls her early school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Barbara McKinzie talks about her Catholic faith

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Barbara McKinzie remembers race relations in Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Barbara McKinzie recalls playing basketball at Byng High School in Ada, Oklahoma

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Barbara McKinzie describes her early interest in history

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara McKinzie describes her academic experiences at Byng High School in Ada, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara McKinzie recalls briefly attending Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara McKinzie describes her experiences at East Central Oklahoma State University in Ada, Oklahoma

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara McKinzie remembers her graduate education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara McKinzie describes her early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara McKinzie recalls her role in the construction of the AKA headquarters in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara McKinzie describes her work as the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's financial advisor

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara McKinzie recalls her experiences in majority-white accounting firms

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Barbara McKinzie remembers an experience of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Barbara McKinzie describes her accounting career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara McKinzie recalls working for Whitman Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara McKinzie remembers the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara McKinzie recalls working for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and Salomon Smith Barney

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara McKinzie describes her role as the CFO of the Hollywood Casino Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara McKinzie talks about her work with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara McKinzie recalls working for the Chicago Housing Authority

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara McKinzie describes the global membership of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barbara McKinzie talks about her duties as supreme basileus of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barbara McKinzie reflects upon her career

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Barbara McKinzie describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Barbara McKinzie reflects upon her family and legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Barbara McKinzie describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara McKinzie narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara McKinzie narrates her photographs, pt. 2

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Barbara McKinzie talks about the Extraordinary Service Program
Barbara McKinzie talks about her work with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Transcript
Example, we have five platforms in the ESP program [Extraordinary Service Program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.]. Platform one is what we refer to as our nontraditional entrepreneur. That is, we, as an organization of women who found it to encourage, foster relationships with women, we focus on developing women entrepreneurs, which is nontraditional, and in particular, in the African American community. The second platform is called the economic keys to success. The focus of that platform is meant to say everyone needs a high school diploma in the topic of economics. You cannot give away what you do not own. And education as a core competency of this institution for a hundred years, we think that every member needs to have at least, let's say a high school diploma in economics. Our third platform is a focus on our black family which we always do. And we've decided that we would focus on the black male in our black family unit structure and support that concept through certain economic ventures. We have a partnership with JP Chase Morgan [JPMorgan Chase and Co.] where we've agreed to put first time homeowners four thousand of them, in homes over the four year period of time of this administration. And we have a platform four which is a platform for our undergraduates. Those are our members who are on college campuses, and their focus is to use economics and education with technology by studying a problem in their community on their campus, collaborating with the university, partnering with the other organization and chapters on those campuses and actually bring to fruition some technology program that had some value to someone in the way of service. An example of some of those would be in Evanston [Illinois] at Northwestern [Northwestern University]. The students studied what was a problem in that community. What they figured out was this, there were a lot of immigrants who had relocated to the Evanston area, and so if they were to strengthen communication as a community, then helping those immigrants learn a second language, English, and helping some of the older people in the community learn a second language, whatever the prevalent second language, they're Hispanic, was, that that would be a way they could use technology to train and tutor people and that's one of the things that they do. The fifth platform is called economics in health management and in that topic of health, preventive health, we wanted to focus on mental health, because we used that as our foundation in stating that it is the mental state that truly drives the connection between mind, body and spirit, and there is an economic cost if that mental state is not at its tip performance.$So I opted to come back to the place I had been and knew which was Chicago [Illinois], and I came back as a chief financial officer for the late John Stroger, Jr. [HistoryMaker John H. Stroger, Jr.]. Again, I came back in this role of turn around person. If you recall, the Cook County forest preserve [Forest Preserve District of Cook County], when they were going through a series of scandals back in 2002, 2001, 2002, they'd fired their CFO, rife with all kinds of financial issues and so I came back in January of '02 [2002] as the CFO of the forest preserve to turn around a fourteen year deficit driven agency, and we were successful in doing that within two years.$$Okay. This is like, this is 2000 and--$$Twenty o-two [2002]$$Twenty o-two [2002], okay.$$To 2004.$$Okay. Well, what was some of the, I guess I have to ask, what were some of the challenges in trying to right that situation?$$Well first you had, I think it's eighteen or nineteen Cook County [Illinois] commissioners. You see 'em on TV, you know the personalities. And when I came back President Stroger was, I think 2002 was an election year so he was getting ready to run for president of the Cook County board for the third time I think it was. And there had been some issues surrounding it, but the biggest issue he had was the forest preserve. Well, I knew from my experience and the work habits that I had that I could turn it around, but the only way I could do it was that I had his support and I meant his solid support, not his political support. And he indicated to me that he wanted it fixed and he was committed to having it fixed and that if I was able to do it, then he would support that. And so I shared with him the vision and plan I had for how I knew it could work and I also wanted to understand, given the fallout from it, what would that mean politically and that that was something he was prepared to deal with and he indicated that he was. So my job became very simple, which was to devise a plan and implement it. And I did it in a way that first, dealing with the commissioners. All of them say that they are here to serve, well, if that were true, then they would have no problem buying into the plan that he and I had devised because the plan was about returning the county back to the taxpayer by minimizing their taxes. That was basically the strategy but the way we would have to get there was to reduce costs, which meant laying off people, which meant with a reduced staff, the people who remained must be people who can do the work or you can't get the work done. And so we took an agency down from, the forest preserve district I think, upwards of fifteen hundred, twelve, fifteen hundred people, we restructured it down to a staffing of somewhere less than half that. And immediately began to, after two years of severance packages, et cetera, return the agency to financial solvency, and therefore stem the tide for property tax increases to taxpayers because the organization was operating in the black, under the current tax structure. And so like I say, the most challenge I had was sitting in a, sitting in board meetings watching the antics and the stage performances of people for the camera when it wasn't doing anything to governing. So that was a valuable lesson.$$Okay. So, so you were able to turn this situation around and--$$Yes.$$--make it solvent again.$$Yes.