Updated: Mar 25
On March 19, 2023, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Nu Omega Chapter and Omega Chi Omega Chapter, hosted its' International Day of the Woman celebration in Montgomery, Alabama. Ms. Adeyela Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, Women in Training, Inc. presented on the topic, 700 Islands in da Sea: The Bahamas.
Other presenters included physician Dr. Nandini Ramroop, Board Member, Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization, who presented about the Caribbean’s twin island nations of Trinidad and Tobago. Ms. Sudha Raghuram, presented about India, one of the world's oldest civilizations, dating back 4,500 years.
“I was truly humbled and honored to share about the culture of my beloved homeland, the Bahamas, and the role the women in my family played in our nation's upliftment and forward progress,” Ms. Bennett said. “I was also mesmerized by the beauty and friendliness of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sisterhood and the other presenters. As foreigners, we sometimes feel like outsiders; however, I felt a strong sense of belonging and unity among the women of diverse backgrounds in the space.”
Dr. Ramroop similarly concluded her presentation with a call for global women to celebrate our commanalties and differences: "Let us celebrate unity in diversity!"
Featured entertainment at the International Women’s Day program included an African dance by Jazmun McCoy and a European song by Alexis Anderson.
One of the speakers, Ms. Raghuram, Artistic Director of the Shivalaya School of Indian Classical Dance, performed Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance that demonstrates the silent language of facial expressions and hand movements, to the rhythm of Queen Mother Maya Angelou’s poem, Still I Rise.
"The event was very informative, since we learned something about life in other countries, like the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and India," said Ms. Raghuram. "There was also a range of talent representing Africa, Asia and Europe."
Each speaker brought food representing her international culture. Ms. Bennett brought jerk chicken, prepared by her sister, Nyoka Samuels-Gilchrist. She also brought soft peanut brittle and sweet dried “mangra” slices to soften the spices in the chicken. Dr. Ramroop brought a mildly-seasoned curry chicken dish, and Ms. Raghuram, a vegetarian, brought lemon-flavored biryani rice. Her guest, Ms. Jaimini Patel, brought dhokla, a treat made from gram flour and flavored with cumin seed, green chilis and corianda leaves, and a little salt to taste.
The International Women’s Day program was a collaboration of the Advocates for Social Justice Committees of the Beta Nu Omega and Omega Chi Omega chapters of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, under the national theme, “Soaring to Higher Heights of Service and Sisterhood.” Dr. MiMi Johnson, President, Omega Chi Omega Chapter, opened the program, and Mrs. Janeen Bush, President, Beta Nu Omega Chapter, gave closing remarks. The witty Ms. Krishula Edwards of the Beta Nu Omega Chapter served as the charming Mistress of Ceremony.
"This day aimed to educate the community about the continuous fight for equality, the gender bias, and the need to eliminate discrimination," said Ms. Edwards. "We also wanted to show how wonderful women are, and the distance we have come. Every Woman Counts, because we are all here to make a difference, and we are all beautifully made!"