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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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Melanie Crutchfield Whitten, M.D. is a board-certified general surgeon specializing in breast cancer. Soror Melanie is originally from Columbus, Georgia. She earned her undergraduate degree from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama. She went on to earn her medical degree from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Illinois. Prior to joining Piedmont Physicians, Dr. Crutchfield Whitten completed a breast surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Hoag Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

She is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology and the National Medical Association. She is also a very proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Crutchfield Whitten enjoys tennis, biking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. Dr. Crutchfield Whitten is currently taking care of patients in her hometown of Columbus, GA at Emory-St. Francis Hospital.

Dr. Melanie Crutchfield Whitten has a passion for treating African-American breast cancer patients. In fact, she has even founded an annual breast cancer retreat designed to help support breast cancer survivors and their care givers. The retreat is called Support-Surviving and Thriving Breast Cancer Retreat, and its entire mission is to support breast cancer patients while educating them on how to thrive after surviving breast cancer. Dr. Crutchfield Whitten’s motto for her patients is “your scars tell a story, but it doesn’t have to define your life.”

Black women are more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to be diagnosed at later stages and have the lowest survival at each state of diagnosis. We are also more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive subtype that is linked to poorer survival. It is because of this fact, that Dr. Crutchfield Whitten travels across the country speaking to various audiences on the importance of annual mammograms as early detection saves lives. As treatments are more to be successful with early detection, the American Cancer Society recommends women should begin having yearly mammograms by age 45, and then it can change to having mammograms every other year beginning at age 55. Women should have the choice to start screening with yearly mammograms as early as age 40 if they so choose.

Visit her page on the St. Page Francis medical Group website here and be sure to follow her on Instagram @melaniewhittenmd.

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

By day, Ashley M. Scott is an award-winning Fortune 500 Data Professional, and by night she is a Data Career Coach and Entrepreneur as the founder of  Data Girl Ash. As a data professional, career coach, STEM Advocate, and recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Barack Obama, Ashley is a true multi-hyphenate entrepreneur. 

Ashley is best known for sharing her blend of experience in public health and business analytics to encourage and champion the diversification of the talent pipeline in academia and data careers. She credits her data exploration to her experience as a consultant, where she co-led the project management of Phase II of an American medical tourism facility in Tanzania, East Africa. 

Her company, Data Girl Ash, is a professional training and coaching company that provides clients with the best-kept secrets to pivot into an in-demand field in data and technology without a technical background. The company supports college students, post-graduates, career changers, and working professionals to exceed their career goals and enhance their data awareness in the workplace. Their ultimate aim is to diversify the talent pipeline and show their pride for POC in tech spaces through their data-inspired apparel and accessories. The company also provides training classes, career coaching services, including resume reviews, Linkedin optimization, and interview preparation.

A portion of the proceeds from the company’s earnings support other women-minority-owned businesses and the Data Girl Scholarship-a scholarship for those who are interested in pursuing or advancing their data career. To date, they have trained over 100 people, participated in 50+ workshops, and have a community of over 5,0000 people. DGA firmly believes that there is strength in awareness and has successfully assisted  20% of their community to secure job offers and negotiate job offers totaling over $300,000.

Ashley is also a proponent of social entrepreneurship, and in pursuit of her mission to promote data literacy, she launched the social media campaign #DataGirl in the summer of 2020 to increase the awareness of data careers. Ashley’s work has allowed her to be featured as a keynote speaker at several conferences and events, including FEM STEM Bahamas, IBM Developer, and Google.

Visit here to check out the Data Girl Ash webpage online. 

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

ReFRAMED By Nikki is a lifestyle brand that was created by Nicole Forbes-Shaw who is a Registered Nurse by trade and also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The eyewear brand places emphasis on diversity, quality and style. With each collection, Nikki’s goal is to tell a story, educate and give back to the community in some way. Nikki was inspired to start this brand during the pandemic and this venture has brought her not only a strong sense of peace, but also been a  creative outlet for her during these challenging times.

ReFRAMED by Nikki is a chic collection of fashion-forward eyewear that is perfectly crafted to capture the essence of each wearer’s individuality. The eyewear collections are designed with keen attention to detail on elements such as bridge/temple measurements so that glasses can fit small framed or extra-large framed faces, the silhouette of the rims, and a variety of stylish templates that range in style from classic tortoise to translucent.

Since the beginning of pandemic, Nikki has been working alongside many of her colleagues trying to stay afloat with staffing constraints and trying to stay positive and safe while working to combat this horrible virus. Her grandmother Judith, passed away shortly before the beginning of the pandemic and she had often wondered if her passing was related as many patients were experiencing similar signs and symptoms that have now to date been connected to COVID-19.

The first collection, “The Collective,” was introduced and was a way of acknowledging the heroic work of close family, friends and colleagues who worked as essential workers – including Nikki herself. Ten percent of the proceeds from eyewear purchased from “The Collective” collection was given to Yale Haven Hospital’s COVID Relief Fund.

Visit here to read more about ReFRAMED and shop the collection!

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Vera Hall started Innovative Performance Construction Company, LLC at her kitchen table in Fayette, MS. It was a divorce proceeding that left her without ownership of the painting business that she previously helped manage that inspired her to turn her pain into purpose and start her own venture.

Determined to prove herself, she decided to register and take the Mississippi State Board of Contractors Examination. After passing the exam, she began bidding state contract projects and has been thriving professionally ever since. Years later, Vera decided to relocate her business to Jackson, MS for expansion and growth. Since her relocation, she has received doors of opportunities and has been able to capitalize on her federal government certifications. In 2020 Vera was named Mississippi Small Business Person of the Year. Her company Innovative Performance Construction (IPC) has received the Mississippi Development Authority PTAC award; ABC National Safety Step Award; ABC Mississippi Silver and Bronze Merit Awards and the SBA Emerging Leaders Award.

Vera defied all odds, and we are so proud of her! Her achievements have been featured on the 2020 SBA Resource Guide, the Jackson Clarion Ledger, and the Jackson Advocate. Add your congratulations in the comments down below!

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Alisha Nesbitt is the proud owner of the Black, family-owned ocean front Bed and Breakfast, My Beach Retreat by Nick. The eclectic jungalow retreat is located in the Fort Morgan area of Gulf Shores, Alabama and is exactly 23 minutes from the Hangout, a premier area for family fun and entertainment,  and it’s also right next door Kiva Dunes Golf Course. With two colorfully themed bedrooms and pretty in pink decor, the space is perfect for small birthdays, couples getaways, bachelorettes and small families.

The four bedroom, oceanfront condo is sprawling with amenities and features a zen garden on the balcony with unobstructed views of the gulf, indoor/outdoor pools, a sauna, fitness center, stunning pink flamingo wallpaper, and a neon selfie wall that makes for the perfect photo backdrop. It even has a restaurant and an outdoor bar on-site. This two bedroom gram-worthy gem is tucked away on the quiet end of the beach. Check out the property on Instagram @mybeach.retreat

This BNB is more than a stunning vacation destination, it is a legacy for Alicia’s family. Prior to acquiring the property, her son, Nicholas, came to her and expressed an interest in real estate, property management and entrepreneurship. From there, Alicia decided this was the perfect opportunity to introduce him to the industry and set him up with an avenue to build generational wealth. The property is named after Alisha’s son, Nicholas, and it is an ode to his love of the water and their shared love of the beach.

Rose Bedroom
Air BnB Sink

While designing the property, the Nesbitt family was inspired by their international travels and decor from around the world, and Alisha certainly had the illustrious sisterhood of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in her heart as the property is decked out in pink and green!

There’s no shortage of things to enjoy at At My Beach Retreat by Nick. Guests can soak in the two, large walk-in showers comprised of Moroccan and Spanish tiles. sip your morning coffee while looking out at the Gulf of Mexico, partake in card games, lounge and work remotely, relax in one of the 3 hot tubs, or take a dip in 1 of the 4 pools. Guests are also free to partake in their fully stocked bar cart and can watch their favorite shows on Hulu and Netflix on any of the three smart TVs.

That’s not all! The newly renovated kitchen is a home cook’s dream. However, if cooking on vacay isn’t your thing, then the Sassy Bass Grill Amazin’ Grill restaurant can serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Additionally, guests can dine in on the ground floor of the building, or call their order in for pick up to enjoy inside the beach house.

The beach retreat is a safe space for people of all ages and backgrounds to come and enjoy. Visit the website here to see the properties availability, for bookings, and all other inquiries.

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Lambda Delta Omega Chapter member Ashley Campbell is the creator of RDU Black Therapists, an organization that connects Black folks with Black therapists for the purpose of black therapy. “It is important for the Black community to receive therapy from a culturally competent source, so that we can spend that time in therapy working on healing as opposed to spending time on explaining the black experience,” says Campbell.

The pandemic and the social justice movements of 2020 put the conversation about Black mental health center stage, but according to Campbell, there is much work still to be done to ensure that Black people feel comfortable enough to seek therapy and begin the healing process.

“History has not been kind to Black folks, therefore the hesitation to open and be vulnerable is understandable. That’s why ensuring that Black people obtain therapy from a Black mental health professional is key. What’s understood doesn’t have to be explained and having a Black therapist is just that.”Campbell says that linking Black people with Black therapists allows for greater authentically within the therapeutic atmosphere. It alleviates feelings of having to be the “model minority” or having to provide explanations about their experiences in the world.

Though in high demand over the last year, Black therapists need more resources to aid in completing the mission of breaking the stigma about mental health within the Black community. This is part of RDU’s overall mission in providing resources to therapists that help them complete mandatory continuing education credits.

Based in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina, the organization also works to bring awareness about the therapy career field to high school and college students. It provides mentorship to college students pursuing mental health degrees.

We thank Ashley and RDU Black Therapists for their commitment to this important initiative. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Kyra Robinson-Bradley, a member of the Iota Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. is releasing her first Christian’s, children’s book book entitled Always Tell the Truth. The owner of Kingdom Connection Books, Robinson-Bradley produces Christian and secular books for children of color. Her company’s work touches on sensitive subjects that many parents and authors are either afraid to touch on or lack the time to explain. For instance, the book entitled Black Lives/All Lives Matter explains the controversial issue using Bible Scripture that all lives matter while also explaining the importance of focusing on and helping lives in need at a given moment.

In another book entitled Dear Mr. 44, the author pens an open letter to Barack Obama from a little boy named Brian thanking him for his courage to take a stand and become the first African American President. This Prayers for You teaches kids and parents how to pray and Susie’s Curly Hair focuses on the textures of natural hair. It entertains while educating kids on how to manage and style their hair while being confident and looking beautiful.

“We have a variety of books entitled LEGACY which focus on the foundation of our (Devine Nine) sororities and fraternities,” says Robinson-Bradley. “They show how we unknowingly become a product of the things that surround us and pledge what is in our heart and what we see from a child’s standpoint all the way to adulthood. It is how we mold into and become what we know and see in our parents and family members, ultimately becoming a Legacy.”

Always Crown Photo
Author Always Photo

In Always Tell the Truth Robinson-Bradley introduces twins Kimmie and Katie who are very different in their personalities but are very similar when it comes to their Christian beliefs. The twins refer to two lessons they often talk about in Sunday School – Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself and Always Tell the Truth. However, when Katie breaks a neighbor’s window, she lies about the incident. She knows it is wrong and feels guilty. Eventually, she confesses to her parents and the neighbors whose window she broke.

To purchase the book as a Christmas or birthday gift, go to www.BrownBooksKids.com. You can also find it at any major retailer, including Amazon. Congratulations to Kyra Robinson-Bradley for this wonderful accomplishment. Please add your congratulations in the comments below.

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Ashley R. Oliver, Esq. is a civil rights attorney, diversity director, content creator, and registered yoga teacher. She also has the distinction of being one of Ivy Boxes’ official ambassadors. In 2020, after starting her yoga teacher training journey and feeling a need for more enthusiastic advocates to bring Black women to restorative yoga, she created Yoga and Mahogany, a lifestyle brand for revolutionary wellness. On her platform with over 12,500 followers and 1.5 million views, she develops creative ways to make western yoga as diverse and inclusive as possible to affirm bodies traditionally seen outside of the stereotypical yogi ideal.

“After looking around at wellness apparel online, I saw a lack of affirming clothing that spoke to women who looked like me,” explains Oliver. After months of research and operational planning, she opened her online store, YogaandMahogany.com, where she sells vibrant and colorful size-inclusive apparel, accessories, art, and home goods that are all hand-designed by her. Visit her website and check out her products here. 

A member of the Beta Gamma Omega chapter, Oliver’s endeavor has been met with resounding success. Over the past year, she has worked with several Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters inviting her sorors to relax and exhale in virtual restorative yoga, breathwork, and affirmation sessions. She says that yoga is much more than just poses. “So many Black women are juggling careers, families, friendships, taking just enough time to sleep – and even in our sleep, our minds are racing! Now is the perfect time to sit with everything we have learned since March 2020 – about ourselves, our community, and our world – and reassess where self-care should be on our priority list.”

Yoga 2
Yoga 3

Ashley states that she “wants busy women to know that yoga doesn’t have to be a sixty-minute class – yoga is 30 seconds of deep breathing, yoga is clearing your mind intentionally after a long day, yoga is sharing with your sister instead of hoarding – yoga is so much more than headstands, and there is so much peace within us if we only make a little time for it. (She’s) committed to helping more of my sisters find that peace, and I’m happy to walk with them along the journey.”

“Yoga is restoring the body to its intended state of rest and peace, and no one deserves more rest, more peace, or more self-care than the modern Black woman.”

Be sure to follow her on Instagram @yogaandmahogony for inspiration, wellness tips, and lots of #blackgirlmagic moments!

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Category: Soror Owned Businesses

Labriah Lee Holt, Esq. is the founder of Sweetroots Hair Bar located in Atlanta, Ga. She started her business in response to the challenges she faced as a Black woman with natural, thick, long and curly hair. She said that she struggled for years to find an efficient and reasonably priced service that could truly care for her locks. “I found it unfair that my non-textured friends could easily get their hair done before a business presentation in any of the cities we traveled to,” explained Holt. “I, on the other hand, would struggle with up-keep because none of the places they went to were guaranteed to have someone familiar with my textured hair, or accustomed to regularly doing textured hair. The whole experience left me begrudged and with a bitter taste in my mouth.”

A graduate of Howard University, Holt began her professional career as an attorney in big law working in government and policy. She explained that she began feeling disconnected from the community and decided to make a drastic turn. She came to the conclusion that her role as a changemaker did not have to take place within the legal environment. Instead, she decided to emerge herself into the community she sought to serve. As she examined her options, Holt became increasingly interested in entrepreneurship within the health and beauty space.

“I have made it my mission to make the hair salon experience sweeter, because I refuse to let the hair industry fail us any longer,” said Holt.  “I want to nurture and spread beauty one person, one strand and one community at a time, by giving you the service you deserve and tending to the beauty you were born with.”

For Holt, Sweetroots represents much more than just a salon. “It’s the revitalization of a cornerstone in a community where people like Martin Luther King Jr. used to congregate and empower the people. And for me it’s about empowering the people of Atlanta, specifically the women.”

We congratulate Labriah Holt and wish her continued success. To learn more about her salon, visit the website by clicking here. 

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