LITHONIA – For 20 years, Gwendolyn Russell Green kept the charter for Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Tau Pi Omega chapter safely tucked among her most precious documents at home. As one of the 30 founders of the chapter, Green helped birth the organization. And like a good mom, she has preserved pieces of the past to tell Tau Pi Omega’s life story.
This month, as the nation observes Black History Month, the black Greek organization is displaying Green’s document in an exhibit at the Stonecrest Library branch in Lithonia. “Celebrating our Sisterhood: Honoring our Past. Embracing our Present. Soaring towards the Future” traces the history of Tau Pi Omega’s 20 years in DeKalb County.
“Creating the exhibit was a labor of love for me because a lot of times, people know so little about the service that is the essence of Alpha Kappa Alpha,” said Green, who is one of the three original members who remains active with the chapter today.
Tau Pi Omega’s two-decades-old charter is the oldest artifact in the Stonecrest display. Other sorority sisters have contributed memorabilia from their personal collections, which include themed scrapbooks with photographs dating from 1993 to present that chronicle the chapter’s service projects and presence in the community. There is also an old pink and green blanket (the sorority’s colors), several issues of the sorority’s quarterly magazine, Ivy Leaf, and various other keepsakes.
As an organization, the AKAs celebrated its 105th Founders Day in January. The sorority annually awards scholarships to deserving high school students. Throughout the year, the soroity focuses on professional development and empowerment of women, health awareness, domestic violence awareness and service projects such as voter registration drives.
“Our main purpose is service. Alpha Kappa Alpha continues to empower communities through exemplary service initiatives and progressive programs. With over 100 college-educated women, the chapter strives to be a positive, influential service organization throughout the community,” said Aidra Martin, who serves as the communications chair for Tau Pi Omega.
Stonecrest librarian Teresa Totten said the exhibit has received positive feedback from the community.
“People are stopping by all the time and a lot of sisters from other chapters have come by. The guestbook is full of expressions of gratitude thanking the chapter for their commitment to community service and for sharing their history with the community,” said Totten.
The sorority’s exhibit runs through the month of February and is available for viewing during regular library hours at the Stonecrest Branch, 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia.
For more information, visit www.dekalblibrary.org/branches/stonecrest.html or call the library at 770-484-2838.