Meet Emmy award-winning news anchor, author, and Soror Jazmin Bailey. Jazmin is a graduate of Michigan State University and a Cleveland, Ohio native. In her book, Jazmin shares her story of overcoming domestic violence and hopes to inspire conversation on a topic that is often only discussed during the month of October.

It was 2018 when Jazmin decided to take her storytelling off-screen and pen her memoir, “The Woman with the Oil: Baring All and Healing from the Inside Out.” In this powerful testimony, she recounts her experience of physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse in marriage.

With her vivid descriptions, Jazmin transports readers into her daily life, balancing a toxic relationship and a rising career as a morning news anchor. Jazmin’s memoir is also a tool; designed to educate communities about the signs of abuse and show others the beauty of life beyond intimate partner violence.

Click here to check out “The Woman with the Oil” and read more about Jazmin’s story.

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TaTanisha Copeland became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha by way of Kappa Omega Chapter in Atlanta, GA. She is an elementary school counselor and has been working in education for 18 years in Northwest Atlanta. She noticed that her students were experiencing anxiety, anger and other behavior issues that required coping skills. Copeland as well as her daughter Maya also suffered from anxiety and mindfulness and meditation worked for us. Likewise, she thought practicing mindfulness and meditation would work for her students too.

However, in her quest to find mindfulness resources for her students, she noticed that there was a lack of diverse resources that featured content that her students could identify with as many mindfulness resources did not feature African American children. So with the help of her amazing son Jacobi and amazing daughter Maya, they created Mindfulness Maya. 

Mindfulness Maya is a YouTube series of videos that promote mindfulness and coping skills as tools to help work through those not so good feelings. Her videos on breathing exercises,  self talk, red ribbon week, and responsibility have reached views up to 80,000. The mindfulness Maya series also features Carleton, Maya’s brother making the series a great resource for all students, parents, and educators. Each video ends with a breathing exercise that can be done with children. Mindfulness Maya Youtube videos are released weekly, and there are also four complimentary e-books that are available on Amazon Kindle and paperback books available on the Barnes and Noble website.

Click here to watch the Mindfulness Maya Youtube videos, here to check out the e-book, and here to view the paperback book.

We are so proud of TaTanisha and her children, Maya and Jacobi, for creating resources to improve the mental health of the next generation. What coping skills do you use to help your children or students process their feelings? Leave them down below!

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Summer has officially begun! That means it’s time to get outside, spend more time with friends and family, and reflect on all the blessings that the first half of the year has brought you.

While you have experienced great victories, there are still some prayers that you are waiting on to be answered. In your season of waiting, you must remember that you are worthy, chosen, and more than capable of achieving anything that you want in this world. There is a saying by Henry Ford that reads, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right either way.” This quote perfectly illustrates that attitude is one of the most important predictors of success. In order to get others to believe in you, you must first believe in yourself.

Keep showing up, leading by example, being a good steward, and leave no room in your mind for self-doubt. After all, you are a phenomenal woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. which means you have the skillset, values, and intellect that is required to achieve. This month, we challenge you to keep trusting in God’s timing and know that when you pray God listens, when you listen, God talks, and when you believe, God works.

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This month’s Ivy Box will have you manifesting in style as you slip on your Twenty Pearls Knit Tennis Dress and stay hydrated with your Twenty Pearls Tumbler. We loved seeing everyone rock their Tennis Dress at the Boule last month! Let us know down below if June’s Ivy Box was a hit!

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What will you do this month to move towards the dreams you have for your life? Will you get that passport in preparation to travel the world? What about that website you’ve been meaning to build so that you can turn that hobby into a business? Maybe you’re going to start saving for that down payment, take a couple of classes, or lay on a beach somewhere with a good book. Whatever your dreams look like, it is time to let them set sail!

Your dreams are a window into your highest goals and expectations for your life. They give you a glimpse of the life you want to live and remind you of the incredible power you have to bring them to fruition. Dreams are the inspiration you need to step out on faith and the bravery you need to sail away from your safe harbor. They inspire you to explore the seemingly unattainable, discover all of the possibilities at your fingertips, and dream even bigger.

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You are already an incredible Alpha woman, but how much more fulfilled could you be if you turned every doubt and hesitation into the wind that keeps you moving towards your dreams? Your dreams are more than fleeting fantasies or daydreams. Let them set sail, and get ready for an amazing journey!

This month’s Ivy Box will have you and your dreams sailing pretty in your Alpha Kappa Alpha Vintage Script Sailor Polo, Alpha Kappa Alpha Vintage Script Canvas Wristlet, and Two Pink and Green Beaded Bracelet Set.

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The world of collegiate women’s gymnastics is looking more diverse as Fisk University recently became the first HBCU to host an intercollegiate women’s gymnastics program. “Woman’s gymnastics exemplifies the values of Fisk University: determination, excellence, and a commitment to a more just and equitable future,” stated the university’s official announcement. “These values have consistently been at the forefront of women’s gymnastics and Fisk could not be more excited to welcome these remarkable student-athletes to the campus starting this coming fall.

Fisk’s newest athletic team has already caused a stir within the gymnastics community. In May, five-star recruit Morgan Price made news with her announcement to join Fisk University’s gymnastics program instead of accepting a full scholarship to the University of Arkansas.

“African-Americans weren’t allowed to go to [predominantly white institutions] and SEC schools,” she told reporters. “The fact I can go to an HBCU and be able to show off my talents at the school my ancestors made for me is so much more [of an honor] than going to an SEC school.”

Former NCAA champion Corrine Tarver has been announced as the coach of the young program. According to reports, the team will participate in five events during the fall while training at the Nashville Gymnastics Training Center. As members of the team shared videos of their first practice on social media, their posts went viral, with thousands of viewers sharing their happiness about the program. “Oh it’s over for these other universities,” stated one viewer. Another commented, “As a retired gymnast who always wanted her HBCU to have a gymnastics team I almost shed a tear cause seeing this is beautiful.”

The inaugural season of Fisk’s women’s gymnastics team will commence in January 2023. “We are really excited about this historical event. Fisk has always led the way regarding HBCU milestones. We continue to do so today,” reportedly stated athletic director, Dr. Larry Glover. The Ivy Times can’t wait to follow along as this historical team continues making a splash in the arena.

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There is something very important that you need to hear. Not only hear it, but really take it in until it becomes an inseparable part of your mindset. Are you ready for it?

Right now… in your present form, without any additions, corrections, or alterations, you possess everything you need to live a wonderful and full life. You are your best thing, and everything you need to win is already inside of you! You are chosen, you are worthy, and you are capable of all things through Christ.

Did you feel that? That something moving in your spirit as you read those words? Read them again. You are your best thing. God equipped you with everything you need to live a fulfilling life. All you have to do is embrace your power, believe in yourself and act without fear.

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There’s no need to look to others for approval or wait on someone else to make a move. Everything you need to start working towards that dream and bringing that vision board to life is already in your possession.

This month’s Ivy Box will have you adorning your greatest asset with the most beautiful items in your 20 Pearls Poplin Button Down Dress and Pearl Drop Earrings!

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You may have seen her on our feeds rocking the latest Ivy Box apparel, but today, we would like to formally introduce you to Ivy Box Ambassador and professional photographer and content creator for businesses, LaTonya McGee! She is a native Memphian, a wife to husband Kevin, and mother of two sons, Landyn and Kevin Jr. She received her bachelors of science degree in management from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. She became an Alpha woman in 2019 and was initiated into the Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter where she serves on the photography committee.

LaTonya founded Pretty Posh Photography in 2017, and she is currently in the process of transitioning to entrepreneurship full time. Since we have seen first-hand how gifted of a photographer and content creator she is, we wanted to pick her brain on all things visuals.Continue reading to find out a little more about LaTonya and her business and be sure to check out her Pretty Posh Photography website. She loves to photograph sorority events, sorority chapters, bridal showers, weddings, and other lifestyle moments as well as provides imaging for printed goods. Her content creation services include concept research and development, short form video, and product content creation.

How did you get into photography, and what made you fall in love with it?

My first memorable experiences with photography occurred in my twenties when I worked as a model. A few years later, I decided I wanted to experience photography from a different perspective. I experimented with several different types of photography and as time progressed, I noticed my skills improving. As my skills improved, friends started to request I provide photography coverage for several events including baby showers, birthday celebrations, weddings, etc. After working to develop my skills and volunteering my services for a few years, I decided to formally offer photography services and Pretty Posh Photography was established.

What really made me fall in love with photography was when I learned how to use it to empower and uplift my clients. When I am hired to serve as a photographer, I make it my mission is to provide a “Pretty Posh” experience that makes my clients feel and look their absolute best.

What type of photography do you specialize in?

While I offer several different types of photography, I would say my specialty is lifestyle portrait photography.  My signature style infuses my love for fashion and photography and results in producing bright, colorful, and magazine worthy images.

What do you think makes a great photographer?

Personally, I believe becoming a great photographer is a continuous process. At the very least, I believe a great photographer is a photographer that is creative, curious, and consistent. Trends are constantly changing in the world of photography. However, a great photographer stays on top of the trends within the industry and is always working to learn a new skill or technique to perfect their craft.

What is your favorite photograph and how do you know you’ve captured a great shot?

My favorite photograph is from my family’s 2019 Christmas photos. My husband captured a beautiful moment between my sons and I, and when the photo tells a story, then I know I’ve captured a great shot.

Who are your favorite people to photograph and/or favorite moments to photograph?

My favorite people to photograph are the people that run away from the camera. Usually, these people feel they can never take a good photo.  It brings so much joy to my heart to capture the subject in a way that makes them feel and look their best.

I truly enjoy capturing candid moments and raw emotion, and this may be why I love providing event photography coverage. When providing the Pretty Posh event photography experience, I am intentional about the types of shots I capture, and I aim to deliver a gallery that leaves viewers wishing that they were in attendance.

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How has being an Ivy Box Ambassador allowed you to deepen your connection to the sisterhood, and what do you love most about being an Ambassador?

The Ivy Box Ambassador program has been a blessing to me in many ways.  I have admired the sisterhood that is shared between sorority sisters for many years and serving as an Ivy Box Ambassador has amplified my sisterhood experience. I really enjoy connecting with new Sorors on social media while sharing my Ivy Box content. It has also been a pleasure connecting with other ISH Ambassadors. In the role I am able to do the two things I love; create content and serve others.

I love working with a brand that truly lives up to its standards. I will forever be grateful to the Ivy Storehouse for seeing me and hearing me. While I have always enjoyed creating my monthly deliverables for the Ivy Box, it is even more exciting to create for a brand that is the epitome of class, compassion, and sisterhood. I am forever grateful to be connected to such a phenomenal brand!

LaTonya produces beautiful, bright, and cover worthy images and videos. She gives clients a full “Pretty Posh” experience that is one of a kind from beginning to end. Be sure to visit her website to learn more about the photography and creative services she provides.

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Jada Wright-Greene, current member of the Gamma Theta Omega, published a book entitled Florida’s Historic African American Homes (Images of America). This book documents the sunshine state’s rich history of African Americans who have contributed to the advancement and growth of today. Wright-Greene writes, “from slaves to millionaires, African Americans from all walks of life resided in cabins, homes, and stately mansions. The lives of millionaires, educators, businessmen, community leaders, and innovators in Florida’s history are explored in each residence.” Jada Wright-Greene has curated images from archives, libraries, and universities throughout Florida and the nation that tell the story and give a glimpse into the intimate lives of African American Floridians who changed history.

Jada Wright-Greene is the Founder & President of Heritage Salon, the first and only electronic magazine dedicated to promoting African American museums, historical sites, and homes. She has worked in the museum field as a museum activist, independent museum professional, writer, and lecturer for over 10 years. Jada was raised in North Florida and is an alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University, Michigan State University, and Johns Hopkins University. As a lover of Black history, Jada is committed to telling the stories of Black Floridians.

Jada has been profiled on The Root website as one of 8 Hot Causes for Black Philanthropists and was named one of Michigan’s Phenomenal Women by Michigan Women’s Forum in 2011.

You can purchase her book on Amazon by clicking this link. Floridians make some noise in the comments!

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Even with the most meticulous planning and preparation, life may not always look the way you expected. The world has a way of throwing curveballs but even in the midst of changing situations, you still have an opportunity to bloom.

Life is filled with twists and turns that take us down unfamiliar roads. While you may not be able to direct the route, you can control how you navigate it. Your attitude, your mindset and your choices are all within your control. So be mindful in choosing how you react to life’s circumstances. This spring, we’re urging you to make the choice to find beauty and opportunity in the place where you have been planted. That may look like a change in your career path, heading back to school, or forming new relationships.

Psalm 37:23 (NLT) says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” God has planted you in this place for your good and His glory. So, trust that there is an opportunity to grow and ultimately bloom.

This month’s Ivy Box has you ready for the showers of spring in your new AKA Color Block Cropped Trench. Slip on this versatile piece, and get ready to bloom while looking gorgeous in green. Let us know how you’re loving March’s Ivy Box down below!

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The legacy of sisterhood is the very foundation of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. as generations of women have used their strength, intellect, and wisdom to come together and make history of both the past and present. The Founders passed on the value of sisterhood, trusting us to follow in their examples of selfless service to one another and the community. 

Our shared experience have weaved together an unbreakable bond and allowed us to form a community of love and support. It is our sisterhood that fill our cups with courage and coat us with the love that we need to continue walking in excellence. Our Sorors cheer us on, validate our feelings, provide encouragement, and lend us protection. We are our sister’s keeper, and this sisterhood is an honor and a privilege like none other!

Sisterhood will always stand as a pillar of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. This month’s Ivy Box pays homage to the tradition of sisterhood with the beautiful “Generations” Quilt by world-renowned artist, Sherry Shine. The famous quilting of Sherry Shine had been exhibited across the country in galleries, colleges, and museums. 

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