Melanie Bales, chair of Cluster V Conference; Shevawn Broxton-Young, Cluster V coordinator; Francine Greer, president of Pi Alpha Omega Chapter; Ceasar Mitchell, president of Atlanta City Council; and Sharon Brown Harriott, South Atlantic regional director (provided)

On Oct. 6 and 7, more than 1K members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated converged on the city of Atlanta for their annual Cluster V Leadership Conference to celebrate their purpose, passion and power.

Under the leadership of South Atlantic regional director, Sharon Brown Harriott, Cluster V coordinator, Shevawn Broxton Young and host chapter Pi Alpha Omega the ladies of AKA were honored to be recognized by the city of Atlanta for its historic contributions. City Council President Ceasar Mitchell brought greetings and proclamations to recognize the work of Cluster V while City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed donated $5K to the Sorority’s Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF). This money combined with the fundraising efforts of the members of Cluster V led this conference to raise over $18K in scholarship money for the Sorority’s Think HBCUSM program initiative. These funds will be used to support all students in higher education and provide post-secondary scholarships as the Sorority continues their mission of supporting lifelong learning and providing a perpetual source of support for education.

Through the Sorority’s One Million Backpacks service project, over 24 Cluster V Graduate and Undergraduate Chapters collected over 2,500 Empowerment BackPacks containing clothes, toiletries, accessories, science and arts and crafts kits and books all designed to equip children in high-risk areas with the tools to succeed. These backpacks were given to metro Atlanta children through our community partnerships with the Atlanta Public Schools system, Foster Care Support Foundation, SKIP Georgia, and Out of Darkness. Cluster V was able to provide support to these civic and direct-service organizations dedicated to eradicating homelessness and child sex trafficking; uplifting children of incarcerated parents and serving children in the foster care system.

With appearances on the CW’s community affairs channel, radio and print interviews, Cluster V was honored to spread the word about an organization of African American women who have continued to champion rights for families, education and inequality.

This annual Cluster V conference helped Launch New Dimensions of Service through the Sorority’s Educational Enrichment and Family Strengthening Program targets while equipping the next generation with the tools they need to overcome. We will continue to be a critical ingredient in our ongoing dialogue around the issues of homelessness and human trafficking while recognizing the contributions and program initiatives of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, both locally and internationally.

Yvette Caslin

I’m a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.