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89th Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Mid-Western Regional Conference held in Omaha

On March 13, 2019 hundreds of women from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) arrived in Omaha for the Magnificent Mid-Western Regional Conference. With a theme of “On Track to Exemplify Excellence,” the sorority convened at the beautiful Hilton Omaha Hotel in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

Members from the regions eight states attended the 89th AKA mid-western regional four-day conference. Workshops and breakout sessions held throughout the convening helped to prepare attendees to accelerate their progress demonstrated through achievement in education, careers, entrepreneurship, strong families and efforts to build stronger communities.

©2019 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
©2019 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

The highly successful and inspiring events were under the leadership of Regional Director, Twyla Woods-Buford and coordinated by a host committee which demonstrated excellence and outstanding teamwork. AKA members attended from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

The sorority has had a long and impactful history led by women of strong faith, committed to excellence and dedicated to action on its core mission. The events held in Omaha, Nebraska lived up to that standard in amazing ways. The AKA’s also celebrated Silver, Golden, Diamond and Legacy sorority members. The influential sisterhood strongly believes in giving honor where honor is due and is well known for recognizing their trailblazers.

The sorority hit the ground running by participating in various community service projects including working with the food pantry at Clair Memorial United Methodist. The AKA’s made large donations of food to the pantry and also helped to prepare Clair to serve the community. The members also donated eyeglasses, promoted breast cancer prevention, the support of HBCU’s and black-owned businesses.

The Public Program and Reception held on Thursday night appropriately steeped in meaningful tradition was a powerful and moving celebration attended by hundreds. Many of the participants commented that it was one of the best community events in the history of regional conferences. International President, Dr. Glenda Glover, delivered a strong call to action to emphasize the AKA’s unwavering commitment to HBCU’s.

©2019 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
©2019 Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Local community leaders and organizations were honored for significantly impacting their communities. Awardees recognized during the Public Service Awards program were: Ivan Gilreath, CEO of Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands; Kenny McMorris, CEO of Charles Drew Health Center; Chris Rodgers, Board Chair for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners; Dr. Cheryl Logan, Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools; Willie Barney, Founder and President of the Empowerment Network and James Stinson, Agent for Allstate Insurance. Each of the recipients shared their connection with the exceptional sisters of AKA.

Friday night’s step show was a show stopper as AKA’s of all ages represented their regional chapters and cities with passion, excellence, and meticulously coordinated moves.

Saturday’s “Evening of Elegance Aboard the Pearl Express” was another outstanding event highlighted by a time of celebration, networking, and togetherness. The AKA’s closed out the Regional Conference with a Prayer Breakfast and Ecumenical Service which was open to the public.

Learn more about the organization at www.AKA1908.com

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Community Features

Great opportunity to support Black Businesses at Christmas in the Village

Get Ready to Shop, Play, Eat, Sing and Enjoy!  

70+ small businesses, organizations, ministries and artists have teamed to make this the largest and best ever!  

Black-owned businesses located in the Historic 24th and Lake District are ready to serve you during the 12th Annual Christmas in the Village!

  • Styles of Evolution
  • Revive Center Omaha
  • Revive Store
  • Ital Vital Living
  • Fair Deal Marketplace
  • Divine Nspirations
  • Still Poppin Gourmet Popcorn
  • D-Marie’s North 24th Street Beauty Supply
  • Haberdash ONE
  • This and That Boutique
  • Rooted Synergy
  • Juanita’s Creations
  • Snkrr Haven
  • Carver Legacy Center
  • Omaha Star

Plus, The Holiday Boutique returns in a new location under the BIG TENT at 24th and Lake.  The Boutique will feature over 20 vendors with beautiful and unique products.

Vendors under the heated tent include:

  • Black Bottom Biscotti
  • She So Hollywood
  • The Love Movement
  • YanantaKe’s Apotheracy
  • Kreative Ways
  • Zuri and Me
  • Still Poppin’ Gourme
  • Queen Sparkle Diva
  • Brilliant and Resilient
  • Fashionably Late
  • Sonya’s Diva Boutique
  • It’s Not a Game Apparel
  • Moss Lady
  • Simply Fab Luxury
  • Mommy and Me Scents
  • Tory’s Signature Teas
  • On the Go
  • Islasimone Candles
  • Water Rocks Publishing
  • Super Bros
  • Yass Beautiful

Mobile Food Trucks with TASTY menus will also be available!

  • Smokin Guns
  • Haven Express Omaha
  • Soco Cafe
  • Boiling Claws 

Major sponsors for Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake include:  American National Bank, Mutual of Omaha, Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund, Nebraska Arts Council, North Omaha Turnback Tax and Veridian Credit Union.  Media sponsors include KETV and Revive! Omaha Magazine.

The Christmas in the Village partners want to remind the community that street closures will take place at the following major intersections beginning at 10 am: 

  • 25th to 22nd and Lake Street
  • 24th & Maple to 24th & Burdette Street

Streets will reopen @ 5:30 pm.

Christmas in the Village is part of the on-going re-establishment of an arts, culture, business and entertainment district at 24th and Lake envisioned in the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan facilitated by the Empowerment Network, OEDC and community partners over 11 years ago.  It has served as one of the major catalysts for the development occurring in the historic 24th and Lake district.

 

 

 

 

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Community Features

Empowerment Network & partners present 12th Annual Christmas in the Village at 24th & Lake

Tis the season to join in the holiday spirit at the 12th Annual Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake on Saturday, December 3rd from Noon to 5 pm.  

The Empowerment Network and Omaha Economic Development Corporation in partnership with dozens of community partners are inviting residents to attend this one-of-a-kind cultural community celebration and holiday tradition.

Christmas in the Village is the largest holiday event in North Omaha and draws thousands of visitors from the region to the historic 24th and Lake district each year.  Attendees have come from as far away as Lincoln, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis and other cities.

The event will kick-off at noon with the Burke High “Marching Bulldogs” Drill Team followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus on a horse-drawn carriage.  “We encourage the community to come out early and line 24th Street for a special kick-off with the drill team, Santa and Mrs. Claus and all of our cartoon characters,” said Vicki Quaites-Ferris, Director of Operations for the Empowerment Network and Event Manager for Christmas in the Village.

Get ready to Play, Sing and Enjoy!  There will be plenty outdoor activities for children and adults, including:  holiday music featuring local recording artists, choirs and dance groups; live nativity scene including a camel; free carriage rides; free toys, gifts and candy while supplies last; face painting; balloon artist; cartoon characters; interactive games and activities, handmade pottery; and, much more.

Some of the Omaha’s top artists will perform again this year:  Millicent Crawford, Gus McNair, Chad Stoner, Eric and Doriette Jordan, Jarron Taylor, Big Wade and Ed Archibald, The Arvies and Kathy Tyree.  Hope Community Choir and Pear Tree Performing Arts will also sing and dance.

Come ready to Shop and Eat!  Businesses located in the district will offer special discounts and holiday items for sale.  Styles of Evolution, Ital Vital Living, Fair Deal Village Marketplace, Divine Nspiration and others.

Plus, The Holiday Boutique will return this year with over 30 different vendors showcasing unique merchandise.  Vendors will serve the community under a heated BIG TENT on the corner of 24th and Lake.  Food trucks and local restaurants will have food for purchase.

“We’re excited to bring back the Holiday Boutique, which has always been one of the most popular attractions,” said Aisha Conner, manager of the Village Empowerment Center and coordinator of the Christmas in the Village Holiday Boutique.  “We have some amazing vendors that you will want to check out and support.”

Get Ready to Shop, Play, Eat, Sing, See and Enjoy!  70+ small businesses, organizations, ministries and artists have teamed to make this the largest and best ever!  

Major sponsors for Christmas in the Village at 24th and Lake include:  American National Bank, Mutual of Omaha, Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund, Nebraska Arts Council, North Omaha Turnback Tax and Veridian Credit Union.  Media sponsors include KETV and Revive! Omaha Magazine.

The Christmas in the Village partners want to remind the community that street closures will take place at the following major intersections beginning at 10 am: 

  • 25th to 22nd and Lake Street
  • 24th & Maple to 24th & Burdette Street

Streets will reopen @ 5:30 pm.

Christmas in the Village is part of the on-going re-establishment of an arts, culture, business and entertainment district at 24th and Lake envisioned in the North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan facilitated by the Empowerment Network, OEDC and community partners over 11 years ago.  It has served as one of the major catalysts for the development occurring in the historic 24th and Lake district.

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Community Features

Atlanta Congresswoman Nikema Williams visits North Omaha

Williams was elected to serve in the district formerly held by the late legendary Congressman, John Lewis

While in Omaha, Williams stopped by Pleasant Green Baptist Church led by Pastor Brian Page for morning services, attended a rally to support congressional candidate Tony Vargas and was the keynote speaker for a luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Democratic Party and Team Vargas on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

Williams emphasized the importance of voting and mobilizing others to vote.

“Tell your family, friends and everyone you know to get out and vote.”

Specific to Nebraska, Williams encouraged voters to support the $15 minimum wage, reject voter ID and vote for candidates that support health care, voting rights and economic advancement for all.

Her primary message was democracy is not a spectator sport. Everyone must use their voice.

“Your vote is your voice,” said Williams. “This is a vitally important time in our country. Nebraska is a crucial state. That is why I am here. You cannot sit this one out.”

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