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NEW HONORARY MEMBER OF ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INC – AVA MARIE DUVERNAY

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On the heels of our 66th Boule celebration, another oh-so-pretty and oh-so-sophistAKAted soror has been inducted into our illustrious sisterhood.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc announces one of its newest honorary members, Ms. Ava Marie DuVernay, filmmaker and trailblazer!

International President, Soror Carolyn House Stewart explained Ms. DuVernay’s selection, “Through her creativity, trailblazing work in film, and her passion towards her craft, Ava DuVernay embodies the Alpha Kappa Alpha ideal. Most of all, through her work, she serves the worldwide community. This commitment is captured in Alpha Kappa Alpha’s credo: ‘Providing service to all mankind.’”

Soror DuVernay’s achievements make her an ideal candidate for honorary membership. She has gained worldwide acclaim as a director, for which she has earned the highest industry awards. She was the winner of the Best Director Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, was honored with the 2013 John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award and presented the Tribeca Film Institute 2013 Affinity Award for her second feature film “Middle of Nowhere.”‎

Honorary membership is the highest honor that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc can bestow. Congratulations soror!

Learn more about Soror DuVernay here.

Boule info here.

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Our Soror, Poet, Educator and Civil Rights Advocate Dr. Maya Angelou, 86, dies

 

Source: Official Maya Angelou website

Source: Official Maya Angelou website

Soror Dr. Maya Angelou, writer of the classic autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” has died.  It was first reported in a local North Carolina paper.She was 86 years-old.

See the rest of the article here:

Her death comes days after canceling her appearance at the Major League Baseball Beacon Awards luncheon, where she was to be honored.

We’re told she was found unresponsive inside her Winston-Salem home.

Angelou was a renowned poet, historian and civil rights advocate. As an actress and screen writer, she was hailed as a trailblazer. Her script for the film Georgia was the first ever by an African American woman. It was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Memorial arrangements for Dr. Angelou have not yet been release.

Our hearts and prayers go out to our beloved Soror and her family. Now an IBTW we will never forget what she did to ALL MANKIND.  Rest in Peace sweet soror!

Source   Source

 

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{PIC} Sorors Suzanne Malveaux and Wanda Sykes Awarded for Excellence in Entertainment

The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry. Recently two of our illustrious sorors were found on the carpet together, taking pictures after receiving this year’s award.

Sorors Suzanne Malveaux and Wanda Sykes are setting Twitter on fire with their OH-SO-PRETTINESS and Pearl Excellence. Here is the pic that @ tweeted earlier today.

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Sorors Sykes and Malveaux on show off their “GRACIES”

Congrats ladies! We thank you for all that you are and all that you do maintain great role models for women in entertainment!

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First African American to win Winter Olympic gold is an #AKA

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Vonetta Flowers, the first African-American to win a gold medal at a Winter Olympic games is also an honorary member of the historically black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc.

The olympian, who won the gold in bobsledding at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, is one of a number of honorary Alpha Kappa Alpha members.

Honorary membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha is considered the sorority’s highest honor, given to those making extraordinary strides in their field, according to the sorority’s website.

Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is the oldest of the four historically black sororities.

– originally published by Frost Illustrated

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Alpha Kappa Alpha Mourns the Passing of President Nelson Mandela

Nelson-Mandela’s-Top-Five-Contributions-to-HumanityThe world suffered a great loss with the passing of former President of South Africa, the Honorable, Nelson Mandela. An outpour of support, love, prayers, and goodwill has been expressed all over the world after the news was announced.

Today, Alpha Kappa Alpha, too, made an announcement. Sent via email, the following message was disseminated to sorors across the world in honor of a great man and a great legacy:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Mourns the Passing of President Nelson Mandela

Sorority vows to continue his legacy through new chapter in South Africa

Alpha Kappa Alpha expressed profound sadness at the loss of President Nelson Mandela. Speaking on behalf of the Sorority’s 280,000 members in 976 chapters worldwide, the Sorority’s International President, Carolyn House Stewart praised him as a once-in-a-lifetime icon whose life was a “mosaic of courage, conviction and humility.”

Nelson Mandela Headshot

“We extend prayers to the people of South Africa and to the entire world as we all grieve the loss of this symbol of strength and enduring hope,” said Carolyn House Stewart.

As a way of giving life to his vision, Stewart declared that the Sorority’s newly-formed chapter in South Africa, Psi Tau Omega, would be an extension of his hopes for the country’s men, women and young people.

Stewart recalled that Mandela once said: “There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate and ridden with terminal disease. Our human compassion binds us to one another, not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learned how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”

AKA’s International President pledged that the new chapter would heed President Mandela’s call to action by providing programs that would uplift South Africa and inspire hope. This, she said, has been the Sorority’s core mission for over 105 years,and with this new chapter, the Sorority extends its global service reach to South Africa.

“Serving with compassion and in a spirit of love will be Psi Tau Omega’s ultimate tribute to this iconic champion,” declared Stewart. “While President Mandela is no longer with us, he will continue to live in the hearts and minds of all of our members. We will use his example as a guidepost as they serve South Africa with the intensity and integrity that Mandela symbolized.”

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Throwback Thursday: Soror Phylicia Rashad

Across social media, #throwback Thursday or #tbt reminds us of our former selves. We celebrate events with former friends, our LS’, and our sorors. We remember how we used to look before we gained (or lost 20 pounds). Yes, #tbt is a time to reminisce on the good times.

Today, ILoveMyAKA.com highlights some OH SO PRETTY #throwbacks of our soror, Phylicia Rashad!

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Initiated at Alpha Chapter, our soror is a Classic Beauty!

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IBTW: Ms. Evelyn Lowery, Homegoing Celebration Dates & Events Announced

Source: CrossroadsNews

This past week the pink and green lights were a little dimmer as our soror, Civil Rights Activist, Ms. Evelyn Lowery passed away due to complications of a heart attack.

Throughout the South, Soror Lowery was known for her quiet power, wonderful smile, and strong leadership within our communities. Most notable was her work in the SCLC. There she helped to create the Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now or W.O.M.E.N under this organization. Born in Memphis, TN, Soror Lowery attended Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and received many awards and accolades as the wife of activist, Mr. Joseph E. Lowery.

The Lowery Family has announced dates for the homegoing celebration for our Soror, Ms. Evelyn Lowery. 

  • On Monday,  Sept 30 a public viewing is planned from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Cascade United Methodist Church, 3144 Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta.
  • An Ivy Beyond the Wall Ceremony will be conducted by members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Kappa Omega Chapter, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clark Atlanta University’s Davage Auditorium.
  • On Wednesday, Oct. 2, a viewing will be 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Morehouse College. Her homegoing celebration will begin at 11 a.m. in King Chapel. Internment will be at Westview Cemetery, 1680 Westview Drive, in southwest Atlanta.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to SCLC/Women Inc., Evelyn G. Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Educational Tour, 328 Auburn Ave.

If you are in the Atlanta area, feel free to stop by and pay your respects for the sorors across the world! You will be missed sweet soror!

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Soror Maya Angelou Selected for Cole Haan Campaign, Loves Their Purses

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Source: Fashionista.com

Celebrating 85 years in the industry, fashion giant Cole Haan selected four contemporaries that epitomize the brand for its fall advertising campaign, and guess who was one of the four? None other than our Soror, Ms. Maya Angelou!

Titled Born in 1928, the campaign also highlights photog Elliott Erwitt, spaceman Jim Lovell and fashion icon China Machado. All of the campaign features are between 84 and 85 years old.

The campaign launches officially on Sept. 3. Images will appear first on http://www.colehaan.com.

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Source: Vogue Magazine

Interestingly enough, according to VOGUE magazine, Soror Angelou “is more a fan of Cole Haan purses than their shoes.”

Congratulations soror! Fashion and sophistication is TIMELESS!

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AKA Sorors Agree: Black Women Are ‘Out of Order’

Source: SophiaNelson.com

Source: SophiaNelson.com

Part of the purpose of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc is to alleviate problems concerning girls and women. Therefore it’s no surprise that two of our well-known sorors, female inspirational speakers, writers, and life coaches have made headlines saying the similar things in terms of the power of black women in the 21st century.

In an article titled “Iyanla Vanzant Was Right!” Soror Sophia Nelson breaks down recent comments by Soror Iyanla Vanzant, known as a “fire storm,” and speaks to the greater purpose of Black women in general.

Soror Nelson states:

“The self-help guru [Soror Vanzant] called it out. She called “us” as women out. But she really called black women out for not honoring themselves. For allowing no-good men to lay with them and father their children—kids that those men, in turn, do not care for financially or emotionally. She challenged women as a whole to honor the Code (as I like to call it—the Woman Code) by not sleeping with one another’s men. By not cursing, demeaning, gossiping, ripping and tearing one another to shreds. She called on black women in particular to get a grip, and to realize that it is always another woman who will help us when we falter, stumble, or fall in life. Not a man. But another “sister” (term of affection in the black community of women) who wiped her tears when her daughter died at the tender age of 30. When she needed food, it was a woman who fed her. Cared for her. Clothed her. Lifted her. I understand. Because it is women who have helped me when I was sick, afraid, grieving, out of money, or in need of encouragement.

I wish that we as women had the courage to see “us” for who we truly are. Women are special. We are kind. We are giving. And we are healers. When “sisters” support one another, we soar!”

Several public instances has shed great light on the plight of the Black women, the Black man, and the entire Black community. Comments from great women like Soror Vanzant and Nelson not only help enhance our experiences, but these comments also cause us to re-examine our lives and our inner purpose.

What do you think about Soror Vanzant and Nelson’s comments?

Read the Soror Nelson’s entire article here.

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Soror Mellody Hobson Official Wedding Pic

1372114287000-wedding-1306241853_3_4_r537_c0-0-534-712Star Wars director George Lucas and our soror, Mellody Hobson exchanged vows on Saturday in California. Bill Moyers officiated the ceremony and former Senator Bill Bradley walked Hobson down the aisle.

See the official released wedding pic above.

Congrats Soror!

source: USA Today

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In Her Words: Soror Vanessa Bell Calloway Battles Breast Cancer, Chooses Mastectomy

Vanessa-Bell-Calloway-415x320Soror Vanessa Bell Calloway is a well -known champion and star of the screen and stage play. Recently, she has made headlines for making a courageous health decision that many women may one day have to face – a mastectomy.

We applaud Soror Calloway (and Angelina Jolie, who she mentions in her statement) for stepping out and making this decision. It takes a lot to do so.

Breast cancer affects us all and one can never expect how a diagnosis – or a potential diagnosis – may occur. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc was created to improved the lives of women everywhere. We hope that all women everywhere have been touched by Soror Calloway’s tenacity and decision.

Have you been affected by breast cancer? Let us know!

In her one words:

I can still remember sitting straight up in my bed one morning thinking something’s wrong. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know where it was, I just knew something wasn’t right and I couldn’t explain it. I told my husband, an anesthesiologist, about the feeling I had. First he asked if I was in pain and I said no and then he said not to worry, but of course I did anyway. I had that nagging feeling that all women get at one time or another when that little voice in our heads just won’t be silent.

I’d always been very diligent about getting my yearly mammograms, pap smears, and anything else related to my health since I’d become an adult woman. Sometimes I’d even get them twice a year if the spirit hit me. I took care of myself in other ways as well. I’d been a dancer since childhood so exercise was a part of my daily regiment, and because I’m an actress, being fit goes along with the job description. A healthy lifestyle was an attitude I wanted to pass down to my two daughters, Ashley 22, and Alexandra, 18.

But despite all those years of dogged dedication to my well-being and the fact that there is no history of breast cancer in my family, four years ago I heard the dreaded words no woman wants to hear: the results of my mammogram were “suspicious.” In my mind I knew “suspicious” could mean cancer, but as much as I tried not to dwell on that reality, I somehow couldn’t stop myself. I told as few people as possible as my husband and I waited for the doctors to probe deeper.

It was cancer in its early stages in my left breast. Yes, at 51 years old I was stunned, but I had a plan that I put into action quickly. To know me is to know that I’m a “planner.” This would be no different. I would simply have a lumpectomy. Then I’d have radiation to complete treatment. There would still be no need to tell my parents, my husband’s parents, or my two daughters as my youngest was a sophomore in high school and my oldest was a sophomore in college. My girl’s lives wouldn’t have to be turned upside down and I could continue to go on auditions for television roles in-between treatments.

Well, breast cancer taught me a thing or two about control. I don’t have it—God does. After my first lumpectomy, x-rays showed more cancer in the margins around my breast. At that point I really should have started to consider having a mastectomy, but I didn’t. As Angelina Jolie implies in her editorial, we as women oftentimes connect our breasts to our womanhood and to our beauty, so we don’t want to lose them. So I had a second lumpectomy to remove what I thought would be the remaining cancerous tissue.

After that procedure I moved on immediately as if the next step would be the radiation treatments. In fact I was so confident that radiation was where I was headed that I’d made a hairdresser appointment so I could look good while getting my treatments. Now that’s another day I’ll never forget.  Me alone at my hairdresser’s getting a blow-dry and receiving a phone call on my cell from the doctor’s office telling me that they’d found more cancer and that a mastectomy would have to be done. God knows I tried so hard to hold it together sitting in that chair, but before I knew it I was balled up in the middle of the hairdresser’s floor crying like a baby.

My husband and best friend drove to pick me up after I received the news since I was in no condition to get myself home. Both of them took turns trying to calm me down and I can still hear my husband saying to me, “We have graduations and weddings to attend and you have to be there.” I knew he was right. I knew I had to do what I needed to do to be there for my girls.

Because my husband is in the medical field I was fortunate to have a great team of specialists I trusted and who took excellent care of me all the way. And because I chose to have reconstructive surgery using my own body fat at the same time as my mastectomy, my surgeon did a little liposuction on my middle area as well. Hey, you have to make lemonade out lemons. The beauty of having the surgeries done all in the same day was that I never saw my body without my breasts. I did see it bruised, swollen, and cut but I got through it day by day with the love and support of my husband and family.

Over the last four years and since my surgery, I’ve been present to see my youngest daughter graduate from high school and my oldest daughter graduate from college. I plan on being present to witness much more in the years to come. Still, it’s never far away from me that I am a breast cancer survivor and I’m the mother of two daughters even if we have to pay for them out of pocket. And while my family had no history of breast cancer, my husband’s mother did battle with the disease, so we live knowing our daughter’s may have a higher chance of developing it. And sadly for African-American women, when breast cancer hits, it is often more aggressive and more deadly. Just this past Christmas my youngest daughter found a lump in one of her breasts. We were on pins and needles during the holidays until we found out it was benign

That’s our reality and there is no running away from it. So I’m taking control again in the only way that I can. By talking to my girls about getting mammograms earlier than suggested because of their history. That goes for genetic testing as well. I know far too many women lack the insurance to get much of the health care they need, but I encourage them to research the various programs that fund free mammograms and other free cancer screenings and tests.

Finally, as a breast cancer survivor I applaud Angelina Jolie for her honesty and for her bravery in sharing her bold decision. I can only hope it encourages all women of all colors to summon that same strength in making bold decisions and in taking better care of themselves.

 

Source: Daily Beast

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Pink and Green Fashion Sighting – Kerry Washington at the NAACP Image Awards

Kerry Washington

The NAACP Image awards recently aired and the stars were on the carpet. One of interest is Ms. Kerry Washington who rocked in this pink and green number… Sorors what do you think?

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FASHION FRIDAY: Preppy Pink and Green Look

It’s Friday, and what BETTER way to celebrate it then with a little FASHION!
Don’t you love P&G sightings?

Credit: Style Panty

This pink and green look is OH SO SOPHISTICATED and color BLOCKING at its BEST!

Love it and want to learn more? <<<< CLICK

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Remember? TV One Chronicles Modern Day SNAPPED Featuring Soror Denita Smith, 2007 (IBTW)

Soror Denita Monique Smith was shot in the head at Campus Crossing Apartments in Durham and then fell down a stairwell to the sidewalk, where a maintenance man found her body according to police.  The victim of a crazy “lovers quarrel,” Soror Smith was killed by Shannon Elizabeth Crawley, a young lady who blamed her for dating her “man” at the same time.

Soror Smith was known by several people in the North Carolina before her death in 2007. Many people are still shocked by her tragic death. TVOne has chosen to air Soror Smith’s story in “Fatal Attraction.”

See the link here: http://tvone.tv/shows/fatal-attraction/video/fatal-attraction–full-episode–collegiate-killing-.html

Talk about a modern day episode of SNAPPED ?!!!!! Do you remember this story? (SADLY, we remember when it first came out)

Our prayers go our to the friends and family of our IBTW, Soror Denita Monique Smith.

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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Mourns Loss of Former International President

Source: The Gamma Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc

Over the last few days news has spread about Soror Julia Brogdon Purnell, former President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc (1962-1966) who has transitioned. Our 16th International President, Soror Purnell,  is now a beloved Ivy Beyond The Wall. The National Office takes time to recognize Soror Purnell’s rich legacy and to speak on behalf of the 260,000 members who mourn her passing world-wide. International President, Soror Carolyn House Stewart highlights her dedication to civil and human rights and the special place in her heart for youth.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc releases the following statement:
October 27. 2013 – Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority mourns the loss of its 16th International President, Julia Brogdon Purnell, who passed on October 21 in Michigan. She served as the Sorority’s leader from 1962-1966.
Speaking on behalf of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 260,000 members worldwide, the Sorority’s International President Carolyn House Stewart, praised Purnell for her steadfast devotion to human rights and women’s rights, for being a stalwart in the war on poverty, and for her particular focus on cultivating youth leaders.
“Julia Brogdon Purnell was the ultimate humanitarian,” stated Stewart.  “Her action-oriented resolve was mirrored in the programs she inspired that were dedicated to eradicating poverty, promoting democracy, crusading for civil rights and living up to Alpha Kappa Alpha’s commitment to service.   With her commanding presence and eloquence, she was a catalyst for change. She was much admired and revered and her courage, perseverance and indomitable resolve represent her ever-lasting legacy.  She was an international treasure who will be sorely missed.”
Julia Brogdon Purnell’s leadership journey in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority began when she was initiated into Beta Zeta Omega chapter in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Her leadership and tireless devotion to the Sorority’s service mission were immediately recognized and rewarded when she was elected to a number of leadership roles within the chapter including Parliamentarian, Vice President and President.
Her magnetism, innovative ideas and leadership attracted regional recognition and acclaim.  She successfully ran for South Eastern Regional Director where she led the Sorority’s chapters and activities in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.
Combined with her charisma and proven ability to lead, she was elected 16th International President during the Sorority’s international convention in Detroit in 1962.  With her unbridled energy and ability to arouse passions and galvanize the sorority around service-oriented causes, she catapulted the Sorority to heights that expanded its service reach and global scope.
During her administration, Alpha Kappa Alpha secured a landmark $4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Labor to operate the first federal residential Job Corps Center for women in the United States; opened the first National Program Office in the nation’s capital, initiated Alpha Kappa Alpha Day in Congress and convened the first National Undergraduate Leadership School in Zion, Illinois in 1955. The Sorority also established the second international chapter in Nassau, Bahamas – thereby broadening AKA’s global presence.
Her leadership gained international recognition when she was invited by President John F. Kennedy to the “White House Conference of Three Hundred Women” in 1964.  In this capacity, she played a significant role in furthering civil rights, which resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Her profound influence led her to be invited to several other White House meetings to discuss human rights and women’s rights.
After her term as international president ended, she continued to leave her imprint as an agent of change. In 1978, she was elected president of the Links, making her the first woman to serve as the chief leader of two notable organizations.
She was a passionate advocate for education, which is central to AKA’s mission.  She graduated with honors from Allen University at Columbia, South Carolina where she received numerous honors.  She later earned a master’s degree from Atlanta University and launched her career as a teacher. She was a professor of education at Southern University in Baton Rouge and retired from this position in 1984. Prior to this, she was a teacher at Avery Institute in Charleston, South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, and Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina. She also was the recipient of nine honorary doctorate degrees. Her achievements and commitment to service earned her numerous honors, awards and tributes.
In her later years, she remained active in a host of associations including the National Council of Negro Women, of which she was a lifelong member; the League of Women Voters, Women in Politics and the NAACP. In her adopted hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana she continued her activism with the Baton Rouge YWCA, Women in Politics, The Blundon Home for Orphans, the local Girl Scouts’ Executive Board and the Steering Committee of the Status of Women in Louisiana.  She earned many accolades for her service to the city including an honor from the Women’s Greater Council of Baton Rouge.
She was also a tireless worker in her church, Bethel A.M.E. Church in Baton Rouge, where she made an indelible imprint. As part of her Links’ mission, she founded a Service Center at the church.  She immersed herself in this Center by serving as its first director. In this capacity, Julia became a beacon of hope to the city.  She was honored with awards for her church leadership and was featured in a March 1991 feature article in Louisiana Woman Magazine.
Julia Brogdon Purnell was the widow of Clifton A. Purnell, Sr., long-time athletic director at Capitol Senior High School in Baton Rouge. She is survived by one son, Clifton, Jr. and two grandchildren.  She also leaves to mourn one sister, Sadie Brogdon Blackwell. Her sister Christine Brogdon Gilchrist preceded her in death.  Both were members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Her life will be remembered in a way that celebrates her stature as a leader of the Sorority and the world. On November 1, Mrs. Purnell will lie in state at Gamma Eta Omega Sorority House, 1605 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 3PM to 7PM. Members of the Sorority will honor her in an Ivy Beyond the Wall ceremony that will be held on Saturday, November 2 at Southern University’s F.G. Clark Activity Center’s “mini dome” beginning at 9:30AM.  The memorial service will immediately follow this ceremony.

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