Chapter News

This is a public blog featuring news and announcements concerning Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.  The content on this page is read-only.  For more information about Theta Epsilon Omega, please e-mail

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  • 11 Mar 2022 6:24 PM | Anonymous

    Attention Graduating Class of 2022!  The New Haven Pearls of Excellence Foundation, Inc. with Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter is offering a four-year scholarship, up to $6,000.00, to a graduating senior in the top third of their class.  All applications must be e-mailed by March 31, 2022.  Click here for further information concerning eligibility and to download the application.  

  • 22 Nov 2020 11:32 PM | Anonymous

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Elm City community celebrated a legendary New Haven educator Sunday.

    Jeffie Frazier is a Louisiana native who came to New Haven and taught in the Elm City’s public schools starting in 1966.

    She eventually became principal of the Helene W. Grant School on Goffe Street and later the combined Wexler-Grant.

    Sunday was her birthday and her community came together to honor one of their own.

    “She led from the African proverb: ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ And in such, she ensured to implement policies that would provide support and the supporting efforts of our youth in our community,” explained Shenae Draughn, president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. “She is a living legend in the City of New Haven.”

    Frazier and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are both a part of AKA.

  • 21 Nov 2020 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– After weeks of remote learning, students at one New Haven school got to see their teachers in person Friday morning. They got some other nice surprises, too.

    Thanksgiving is not until next week, but there was a lot to be thankful for at New Haven’s Wexler Grant School. Students and parents got supplies and other goodies to make the distance learning thing a little easier.

    Usually, kids are looking forward to not going to school for Thanksgiving. It’s all different this year.

    “We know that we are remote learning right now and kids are not coming back into school,” explained principal David Diah. “So what we wanted to do was give back to the community.”

    By giving the kids some things to make learning from home a little easier.

    “We got them learning on the Chromebooks that they needed,” Diah said. “Now we’re giving them all the materials, the books, the supplies, the pencils, the paper, the whiteboard to make learning at home as smooth a transition as if they were in school.”

    Helping out is the historically African-American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha [Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter] with extras like water bottles and hand sanitizer.

    “The children are happy to see their teachers, happy to see us and a little surprise, and their parents are happy that we thought about them as well,” said school speech pathologist and Alpha Kappa Alpha member Sondi Jackson.

    As happy as the students are to see the teachers, the teachers are just as happy to see their students. Even though remote classes are still held every day, it’s tough to maintain a real connection without seeing the kids in person.

    “So what you’re seeing right now is actually students and families teaming up with teachers and staff and that connection is still there, and we just wanted to give that day of joy for everybody,” Diah said.

    What everybody wants to know is when they are going to be back in school for real. Unfortunately, nobody knows that. That is up to the Coronavirus numbers.

  • 20 Jun 2020 1:20 PM | Anonymous

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter supports the integration of refugees in the Greater New Haven area.

    One of the goals of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® is to support refugees of color in the United States by increasing awareness of their issues and concerns. In order to do so, we partner with organizations engaged in assisting refugees and their families to integrate into American life. These organizations are involved in providing, inter alia, literacy classes, educational training, and other necessary transitional support.

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter, continues to serve the greater New Haven area by supporting Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), under the framework of the Refugees in America Assistance Program (RAAP). The primary purpose of RAAP is to help ease the transition of refugees to America. Throughout the last year, our IRIS programming included donations of bilingual dictionaries, art supplies, children’s books, and also bringing awareness to how race plays a role in the treatment of black and brown refugees. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of senior activities for graduating high school students, we also joined IRIS in helping to celebrate the accomplishments of graduating seniors by purchasing (12) twelve $50 Amazon gift cards. We encourage you to join our efforts in supporting organizations such IRIS by donating time and/or resources.  

    For more information about our services, e-mail  

  • 24 May 2020 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Theta Epsilon Omega Target III Committee is please to provide the community these resources for small businesses affected by COVID-19.  Please share within your networks.  

    Resources for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

  • 06 Feb 2019 11:01 PM | Anonymous

    New Haven Independent

    by MARKESHIA RICKS | Jan 21, 2019 4:59 pm

    Markeshia Ricks Photo


    Veteran firefighter Erika Bogan loves telling children, especially girls, about what it’s like to be a firefighter. And she’s passing that passion on to new firefighters like Shy Floyd (pictured).

    Both women were holding court with a group of 7-year-olds Monday during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr conference at Wexler-Grant Community School.

    People braved extreme cold and ice for the 50th year of the conference that celebrates the civil rights leader’s life with a day on rather than a day off. The first conference was held Jan. 15, 1969, on the same block at the former (and future) Dixwell Community “Q” House.

    African-American professionals like Bogan and Floyd come each year to share their expertise on topics ranging from fire safety to public speaking skills. The female firefighters are two of 14 women in the department.

    Bogan and Floyd helped youngsters learn about what to do if they’re ever in a fire. The women, who are based at the Lighthouse Road and East Grand firehouses, respectively, also did a little show and tell, and a little dress up. After having Floyd show the students how firefighters get in gear, Bogan also showed them her hat and explained the many stickers she has on it.

    In addition to Sponge Bob, there’s a Wonder Woman sticker and a “No Whining” sticker, she said “because sometimes there’s a lot of whining.” Yandel, 7, (pictured above with Bogan) was the first to step up and try on Bogan’s gear. He learned pretty quickly that it’s heavy.

    Firefighter Darnell Tucker, who has been with the city fire department for five years, is based at the Dixwell firehouse. He invited the children and their parents to drop by the station for a tour any time.

    The annual MLK celebration draws in children from all over the city with opportunities to get fit with yoga and Zumba and to brush up on their tie-tying and public speaking skills. Adults also often stick around for tips on topics like funeral planning and financial literacy.

    This year they had the opportunity to create art with Wexler-Grant art teacher Rebecca LeQuire, trying their hands at creating black and white paintings of King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama.

    They also met some of the people representing them at the state and federal levels. Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal dropped in on Monday to meet event organizers like Sondi Jackson, who chairs the event, and other volunteers who help make it happen.

    The Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha spearheads the event each year with the support of the Elm City Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Epsilon Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the Eureka Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Delta Phi Chapter, Pi Lambda Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, and the New Haven Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. 

    Workshops weren’t the only items on the menu. There was time for shopping with artist Jo-Ann Thompson-Claybourne…

    ...time for games ...

    ... picking up a few books from New Haven Reads ...

    ... taking pictures…

    ...learning how to have better interactions between the police and the community with schools security chief Thaddeus Reddish ...

    ... dancing ...

    ... getting a haircut ...

    ... and taking a pretend nap.

    New Haven Independent:

  • 04 Dec 2018 2:23 PM | Anonymous

    'Tis The Healing Season

    by MARKESHIA RICKS | Dec 4, 2018 12:11 pm

    Healing comes in many forms. Some find it in dance. Others in prayer. The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. brought several forms of self-care together in an inaugural “The Art of Healing” luncheon.

    The Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of AKAs, which serves the Greater New Haven area, gathered about 200 of its closest friends at Cascades Fine Catering Sunday for an intimate afternoon of celebration to honor Congress’ newest member from Connecticut, U.S. Rep.-elect Jahana Hayes, along with stalwarts of the community who have made the well-being of others their life work.

    They also gathered to raise money for scholarships and to glean tips for coping with the holiday season from psychologist and founder of Therapy for Black Girls, Joy Harden-Bradford a website and podcast dedicated to helping black women access quality mental health care.

    Chapter President Khalilah L. Brown-Dean said the luncheon was inspired by a recent opportunity she had to interview the acclaimed actor Danny Glover. Brown-Dean, an associate professor of political science a Quinnipiac University said she was taken with his answer to a question about finding peace in uncertain times.

    “Danny Glover says we find peace in art,” she said. “His quote is that ‘Art is a way of understanding, a way of confronting issues and your own feelings all within the realm of the capacity that it represents.’”

    She said the best gift that people can give, particularly during the holidays is “the gift of a whole self.”

    “We cannot build strong communities unless we invest in building strong people,” she said.

    New Haven AKAs honored people from the Greater New Haven area who are busy building strong people, including Enola G. Aird, founder and president of Community Healing Network; Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Kate Mattias, executive director of NAMI Connecticut; and Michael Taylor, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center CEO.

    Congresswoman-elect Hayes was celebrated for her recent historic win, having catapulted from being recognized by President Barack Obama as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year to political rock star status. The New Haven AKAs along with the Waterbury Chapter of The Links Inc. and the New Haven Chapter of The Girl Friends Inc. honored Hayes with a Christmas ornament representing the heart of Connecticut and a box of prayers.

    “Being first can sometimes be lonely and being first can come with an overwhelming set of expectations,” Dean-Brown said. “When you are the first you don’t have the luxury of just representing the people in your district.”

    Dean-Brown said she wanted Hayes to know that all those gathered were praying for her and that when she journeys to Washington D.C. She wasn’t doing it alone.

    “We want her to take out one of those cards and be forever reminded that she is never alone,” she said.

    Hayes said she didn’t set out to become a member of Congress but now that she is she knows it is exactly where she is meant to be.

    “I never once thought about what this meant for me always recognized so much bigger than me,” she said. “I really had to give myself permission to even begin to imagine myself or my name coming after the word ‘Congresswoman.’”

    Once she did that, she said the confirmation of what it’s all about happened while she was recently at orientation in Washington, D.C.

    “I know I’m supposed to be here, because even though I question how I got here and how I’m going to make this work and what this looks like, last week we had orientation, and I was walking through the halls of the Capitol,” she said, “I thought I was lost. I was in the tunnel. I looked up and there were five young people running toward me. And they all looked like me. And the one girl started to cry. She said, ‘I’m so happy to see your face in this tunnel.’ I mean this is after hours, you had to be credentialed to be there. And she said, ‘You’re the one I’ve been waiting for in this tunnel.’”

    Hayes said it’s not lost on her that she now has the keys to that tunnel and can hold the door open for the girl, and the other people with her that day.

    “That’s what’s supposed to happen,” she added. “This is real. And it is happening. I know today more than I have ever known in my life that it was exactly the way it was supposed to happen.”

    Finding Your CHEER

    Harden-Bradford, or “Dr. Joy” as those who listen to her podcast know her, used her first trip to Connecticut to get right to the heart of the matter for most people: How to cope during the holidays.

    “We are smack dab in the middle of what some of you have been waiting for all year long and some of you may have been dreading all year long,” she said. “The holidays can bring up a lot of stuff for us. There’s a lot that goes on. There are a lot of expectations.”

    She offered the following tips to help you CHEER up:

    C - Create new traditions especially if you can’t be with your family or you’ve recently lost a loved one. She urged them to resist the urge to simply forgo the holiday celebration. “When we avoid things we never teach ourselves that we can get through it,” Harden-Bradford said.

    H- Honor your feelings. “Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling. Give yourself permission to experience your feelings without actually judging them.”

    E - Consider gifting experiences over things. It’s tempting to spend money on things to show people how much you love them, she said. But it’s the experiences that you and your loved ones share and the memories you make that will matter in the long run.

    E- Setting realistic expectations. “You can’t do it all,” Harden-Bradford reminded the crowd. “Make sure you’re giving yourself some time. It is important especially during the holiday to say no.”

    R - Schedule time for reflecting and setting your intentions for the new year.  Harden-Bradford in addition to being a busy professional is a wife and mother of a 5-year-old and a 2-year old. She asked people to raise their hand if the best gift someone could give them was peace and quiet. Everyone in the room raised their hands.

    “We’re often doing so many things during this time of year,” she said. “To get this time to reflect, you may have to move some stuff around. Whatever it is you need to do figure out how to give yourself the gift of stillness this season.

    “Schedule some time to simply be still,” she said.

    Published 12/4/2018:

  • 25 Jan 2018 11:26 PM | Anonymous

    In June of 2017, Ms. Makayla Bigard and Ms. Whitney Darra Breland received 4-year scholarships from Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter to support their education at Central Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University, respectively.  Click here to read more about their accomplishments and Theta Epsilon Omega's scholarship programs. 

  • 14 Nov 2017 9:26 AM | Anonymous

    AKAs To Host ‘Sights & Sounds’ Gala Brunch

    The Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. will kick off the holiday season with a “Sights and Sounds of the Season” gala brunch Dec. 2.

    The brunch, which will feature live music by local artists and a fur fashion show, will be at noon at the Aria Wedding and Banquet Facility in Prospect. Tickets are $65 and 100 percent of the proceeds will be used to fund scholarships and community service programs in the Greater New Haven, Meriden, and Waterbury communities.

    “Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated places a particular emphasis on student development and achievement,” Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, chapter president, said in a press release. “The funds raised from this event help us ensure that financial need doesn’t prevent bright scholars from pursuing success.”

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is the nation’s oldest sorority founded by college-trained black women. Locally, the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter is comprised of more than 90 women who fulfill the sorority’s mission through a number of innovative programs. Those programs include:

    —Project A.S.C.E.N.D. program for young girls
    —the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Conference
    —civic engagement activities
    —health awareness seminars
    —cultural appreciation events

    To date, the chapter has disbursed more than $150,000 for scholarships and book awards including donations to the United Negro College Fund. Unlike many other scholarships offered locally, the chapter’s signature Theta Epsilon Omega Scholarship is renewable for up to four years and provides important financial continuity throughout a student’s college years. Each year chapter members devote more than 5,000 volunteer hours to various service initiatives. The chapter actively seeks to partner with other individuals and organizations in the community who share their commitment to service.

    Click here for additional information about the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter and to learn more about the gala brunch. 

    Published on November 14, 2017 New Haven Independent:

  • 28 Nov 2016 4:53 PM | Anonymous

    New Haven sorority takes giving to heart, providing help to many

    Sorority meets needs of families, children, the hungry

    By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016

    Kappa Alpha Kappa sorority members, front row from left, Adrienne Lucas, Shannon Bowers, chapter President Cathy Patton, Dori Dumas and Lauren Williams; and back row, from left, Sondi Jackson, Shenae Draughn, Marlene Graham, Pia Grasty, Eboni Douglas, Jaryn Travers and Khalilah Brown-Dean at Wexler-Grant School in New Haven.

    NEW HAVEN >> Talia Morton has a lot to be thankful for.

    She was surprised when the Theta Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. decided to provide the Thanksgiving Day meal for her entire family last year.

    “They brought us so much food that (it) lasted the following month,” said Morton, 38, a Newhallville resident who is married with nine children.

    It was a critical time for the Mortons. Her husband had been laid off from work and he is still seeking employment.

    “I asked, (and) they were there for my family in time of our need,” she said.

    This type of philanthropy is part of the sorority chapter’s Adopt-a-Family program and is one among several that aim to engage in a variety of activities to uplift families throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season.

    Adopt-a-Family serves as an arm of the Family Strengthening initiative.

    For the Mortons, the program has been directly beneficial as the chapter goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to giving, Morton said.

    “They’ve helped me twice,” said Morton. “They have come through for us like they have done for so many other families in the community.”

    And for some city residents, obtaining basic necessities is not easy.

    According to U.S. Census figures, 26.3 percent of city residents live below the poverty level and the city’s unemployment rate is 12.4 percent, which is higher than the national average.

    In 2014, 13 percent of the Greater New Haven population lived in poverty, meaning they were in households with annual incomes below the federal poverty line, according to a report by United Way of Greater New Haven.

    The report noted that the federal poverty line is equivalent to $15,730 per year for a family of two and $23,850 for a family of four.

    While many area families continue to struggle, sorority chapter President Cathy R. Patton said the goal is to support the less fortunate.

    “This program has been a part of who we are and what we really do for some time now,” said Patton, who’s been with the sorority for 34 years.

    “We think it’s important that we support the family structure in the home, by providing what others may take for granted,” she said. “A lot of families just don’t have the basic necessities.”

    Alpha Kappa Alpha Soroity Inc. was established in 1908 on the campus of Howard University, as the first Greek-lettered organization for black college women.

    Its mission is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life and to be of service to all mankind.

    The New Haven chapter was chartered in 1965 as a graduate chapter with 15 charter members.

    Patton believes the city is resource-rich, yet, “in terms of collaboration of organizations, we’re poor.”

    “I think we can be stronger if we did more things together to impact more families,” she said.

    As a part of a community collaboration, next month the chapter will partner with the WYBC radio station and the New Haven Firebirds for a community-wide coat drive.

    In January, the chapter will hold its annual community-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Conference at Wexler-Grant School, which Patton says has the strongest impact in the community.

    “It’s our favorite,” said Patton. “We get to take all of our programs that we do throughout the year and conduct workshops all in that day.”

    Some of the other initiatives include the A.S.C.E.N.D. Youth Enrichment Program, which is the sorority’s signature youth program; education; health; economic empowerment; and the AKA Connection.

    The chapter also provides monetary support to the Connecticut Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Emergency Shelter Management Services and Children in Placement, among other organizations.

    In addition to those initiatives, the chapter also adopted Ella B. Scantlebury Playground at Wexler Grant Park in an effort to help provide a better environment for children.

    “It’s part of our community impact day(s). We want children to feel safe and play in a clean environment,” said Patton. “We have to monitor it all year and make sure it stays clean.”

    While the chapter doesn’t have a physical office, it holds its meetings at Wexler-Grant School.

    School Principal Sabrina Breland said the sorority is invaluable to the school community.

    “They do so much for us here in terms of activities for the students,” said Breland. “They supply clothing for our students; hats, gloves and coats,” she said.

    Breland said the chapter has a strong presence at the school and is highly active during school events throughout the year.

    Chapter member Sondi Jackson knows exactly how the programs directly affect students and their needs. She serves as the school’s speech pathologist.

    “The children have been exposed to the AKA’s (members) for a number of years. Students have seen us at all different levels within the community,” said Jackson.

    For example, in previous years, the chapter adopted the kindergarten classrooms at the school and held activities for pupils.

    One other project, according to Jackson, which she said worked well, was giving bicycles to students who came to school early in preparation for the Connecticut Mastery Test.

    “In the areas where it relates to education and basic needs, we’ve been to the table serving the community,” said Jackson, who has been part of the sorority since 1981.

    Among other issues in the city for families is food insecurity.

    In New Haven County in 2014, 13.9 percent, or 119,880 residents, were food-insecure, and it would take more than $64 million to meet the needs of New Haven County’s food-insecure population, or $17.62 per week for each food-insecure person, according to a study done by the Connecticut Food Bank.

    The figures remain the highest among Connecticut’s eight counties. Although 2013 data showed a higher 14.1 percent food-insecurity rate than the 13.9 percent rate reported for 2014, there is a $1.4 million increase in the food budget shortfall, from the figure of $62.64 million reported in 2013. The average New Haven County food budget shortfall increased by 60 cents per week, or 3.5 percent, for each food-insecure person, the report said.

    Chapter member and Greater New Haven NAACP Branch President Dori Dumas said families are challenged with putting food on their tables.

    “We do these programs because there is a need and we understand our community,” said Dumas, who has been a member of the sorority for more than 20 years.

    “We know families that don’t have food; not just during the holidays, but year-round,” she said.

    When the chapter adopts a family, Dumas said, no one is left out.

    “We provide food, clothing and toys; everyone gets something,” said Dumas. “We shop like we’re shopping for members of our family.” .

    For the holidays two years ago, the chapter saw the need to make the Mortons’ Christmas one they’d remember.

    “They bought my kids lots of stuff; when they do things for you, they don’t play games,” said Morton.

    “They’re also very good people to talk to,” she said. “They’re understanding and don’t judge you based on your circumstances; they look at you as a human being.”

    Reach Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim at 203-680-9343.


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