For the ninth year, five local African-American women will be honored at the Kappa Alpha Psi Tribute to Women of Achievement event.
The event will be June 1 at the Ann Arbor Sheraton Hotel, 3200 Boardwalk Dr. in Ann Arbor, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Organized by the primarily African-American fraternity’s alumni chapter, the event will include brunch and inspirational talks from each of the honorees about their backgrounds and career journeys.
This year's honorees are Ford senior labor relations representative Patricia Berry, Canton Township trustee Sommer Foster, Washtenaw Community College trustee Diana McKnight-Morton, school administrator Cassandra Russell, and attorney Erane Washington.
Event spokesperson Richard King says the event’s mandate is twofold.
"The idea of celebrating excellence among black women and their contribution to the community and their professions was something that resonated with us when we first started talking about what kind of events we wanted to offer," he says. "... We really didn’t see the visibility of the African-American women that we knew were in the community and who we thought were very special."
Each year, the fraternity identifies the best local examples of African-American women of purpose, character, accomplishment, excellence, and commitment.
"It’s not just about them being good at their jobs and it’s not just about if they have community service," King says. "It’s really a broader base of excellence."
The event’s second purpose is to fund scholarships for students of color in Washtenaw County and western Wayne County. Net proceeds from event tickets, which are $65 apiece, will assist at least 10 graduating male and female African-American high school students.
King says the event is not just for the African-American community, and all are welcome.
"Any person who believes that diversity in our society is an outstanding characteristic that should be encouraged and celebrated will be inspired by this event," King says.
More information is available here.
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently in based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at [email protected].
Photos courtesy of Tia Williams.