More than 10,000 women are expected to turn out for the event, which will have an financial impact of nearly $1 million, according to reports.
“We expect our 62nd National Convention to have a large economic impact on the metropolitan Detroit area,” said Schylbea J. Hopkins, chairperson of the 62nd National Convention Steering Committee. “We are thrilled to host this historic gathering of professional, college-educated women who represent every state in the nation and several countries internationally as we showcase Metro Detroit. During the convention we will rededicate ourselves to working together, serving our communities and striving to be supreme in service to all mankind.”
This year marks the fourth convention that has been held in Detroit. Previous Detroit conventions were held in 1938, 1962 and 1986.
“We expect that people will say Detroit is on the move,” said Hopkins. “We have more downtown eateries, casinos, and more Black-owned businesses in Detroit than we did before. We now have AKA banners on Woodward and in the downtown area promoting the event.”
Although many of the activities and workshops are not open to the public, several are, including the Public Meeting on Wednesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. at the Cobo Conference and Exhibition Center, the Centennial Traveling Exhibit and the Public Meeting Reception.
Spirit Awards will be presented at the Public Meeting to civil rights and humanitarian activists. “The Centennial Traveling Exhibit: Celebrating 100 Years of Service: The AKA Story” will feature key milestones in the organization’s history. The Public Meeting reception will run from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. was founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University, in Washington, D.C. It held its first convention in 1918, at Howard.
The organization focuses on five key areas: education, the Black family, health, economics, and the arts. Using these focal points, programs are implemented to address the concerns in the community.
In Michigan, there are nine chapters that worked to organize the national convention.
Local members of the sorority include radio personality Frankie Darcell, Detroit City Council members Monica Conyers and Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, WXYZ/Channel 7 news anchor Glenda Lewis, former Marygrove College president Dr. Glenda Price and State Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman (D-Detroit).
National members include Alicia Keys, Mae Jemison, Maya Angelou, Star Jones Reynolds, Gladys Knight and Jada Pinkett Smith. The late Coretta Scott-King and Rosa Parks were also members.
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