Target 2: Women's Healthcare and Wellness

Alpha Kappa Alpha continues to raise community awareness of critical health issues impacting African-American women. The primary focus areas include breast cancer awareness and prevention, heart health, nutrition and wellness, and care for the caregivers.

Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention will focus specifically on early detection through mammograms to improve the survival rate of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Omicron Chi Omega will highlight this effort during Community Impact Day on October 1! Keep an eye out here for more information on our activities support this effort. 

Heart Health remains a focus as the sorority enhances its commitment to healthy hearts through fitness activities and walking. 

Nutrition and Wellness will emphasize healthy lifestyles including prenatal, childhood, adult, and senior nutrition programs. The focus will be on structured nutrition initiatives.

Care for the Caregivers places emphasis on taking care of those who take care of others. 


Visit this page often for updates regarding OCO's efforts to support Women's Healthcare and Wellness!

Target I: HBCU for Life: A Call to Action

For this program initiative, Omicron Chi Omega will support Alpha Kappa Alpha's focus on education with an emphasis on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Some key areas of involvement include:

 - Actively participating in HBCU Week, September 17-21, 2018! View HBCU facts and VA HBCU facts for more information on these dynamic colleges and universities. 

 - Promoting and marketing historically black colleges and universities, and encouraging students to attend HBCUs as a sustainability measure. Activities will include researching and publishing information regarding prominent Alpha Kappa Alpha women and other notable individuals who attended HBCUs.

 - Encouraging member donations to HBCU funding efforts for the long-term growth and survival of HBCUs. Alpha Kappa Alpha will implement an AKA HBCU Endowment Initiative in partnership with the Educational Advancement Foundation, in which an endowed scholarship will be established at each accredited four-year HBCU. The goal is to stamp the Alpha Kappa Alpha brand of financial support on each HBCU campus to help students remain in school, complete their course of study, and receive their college degrees.


Visit this page often for upcoming Omicron Chi Omega activities supporting HBCUs!

OCO Officers


Anika Harris  


Vice President                        

Marcia Leftwich



Andrea Bailey


Assistant Secretary  

Carol Patterson


Corresponding Secretary  

Sonya Long        



Debbie Sykes 


Financial Secretary

Millicent Stakehouse          


Assistant Financial Secretary

Cheryl Lamar                    




Winnie Gilmore 



Ivy Leaf Reporter  

Veronica Green




Beverly Howell



Arleen McCallum-Graham                       



Addie Whitaker         


Sergeant of Arms    

Brenda Jackson-Sewell    





The State of Virginia HBUs


Hampton University – Hampton, VA.  

Once known as the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was founded in 1868 by General Samuel Armstrong. He was interested in moral training and a practical, industrial education for southern blacks. In 1872, Booker T. Washington—who had born a slave in Virginia—arrived at the school with fifty cents in his pocket. After graduating, Washington was given administrative responsibilities at the school, and in 1881 Armstrong recommended Washington to head Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. By 1900, that school has numerous buildings, 100 faculty members, and more than 1,400 students. Over the course of the last 150 years, Hampton University has grown from a small trade school to one of the most prominent historically black colleges and universities in the United States. Hampton Institute later became Hampton University in 1984.  Hampton has set a high standard for HBCUs: the Pirates have won multiple conference titles in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and football, and Hampton University students have changed the political and cultural landscape for millions of African-Americans. Rich in history, steeped in tradition, Hampton University is a dynamic, progressive institution of higher education, providing a broad range of technicalliberal arts, and graduate degree programs. In addition to being one of the top historically black universities in the world.   

Norfolk State University – Norfolk, VA.

It was first founded in 1935 as a unit of Virginia State college.  At this founding, it was named the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942, the College became the independent Norfolk Polytechnic College, and two years later an Act of the Virginia Legislature mandated that it become a part of Virginia State College. By 1950, the 15th anniversary of the college founding, the faculty had grown to fifty and the student enrollment to 1,018. In 1952, the college's athletic teams adopted the "Spartan" name and identity.  The City of Norfolk provided a permanent site for the college on Corprew Avenue, and in 1955 Brown Hall, formerly Tidewater Hall, opened as the first permanent building on the new campus. In 1956 the future Norfolk State College granted its first bachelor's degrees. The College was separated from Virginia State College and became fully independent in 1969. Subsequent legislative acts designated the institution as a university and authorized the granting of graduate degrees. In 1979, university status was attained. The university is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership. Located on the former site of the 50-acre (202,343 m2) Memorial Park Golf Course, which the city of Norfolk sold to the school for one dollar, the campus now encompasses 134 acres (0.5 km2) of land and approximately 45 buildings.

Virginia State University – In Petersburg VA.  

Virginia State University was founded in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, making it the first fully state supported, four-year institution of higher learning for Blacks in America. On March 6, 1882, legislature passed a bill to charter the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. The bill was sponsored by Delegate Alfred W. Harris, a Black attorney whose offices were in Petersburg, but lived in and represented Dinwiddie County in the General Assembly.  Virginia State’s first president was John Mercer Langston, former dean of Howard University’s law school, and later elected to Congress as the first African-American Representative from Virginia (and the last until 1972). He was also the great-uncle of the famed writer Langston Hughes. In the first academic year, 1883-84, the University had 126 students and seven faculty (all of them Black), one building, 33 acres, a 200-book library, and a $20,000 budget. Today, VSU is one of Virginia's two land-grant institutions. VSU is in Ettrick, Virginia. Its nickname is the Trojans or Lady Trojans and the University is member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Their colors are orange and blue and their motto is “Building a Better World”.

Virginia Union University – In Richmond VA.  

Virginia Union was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. The University is the result of the merger of four institutions: Richmond Theological Seminary, Wayland Seminary, Hartshorn Memorial College, and Storer College which occurred in 1899. Richmond Theological Seminary held classes in Richmond, Virginia at Lumpkin’s Jail, a former holding cell for runaway slaves. During the same time, Wayland Seminary was founded by the American Baptist Home Mission Society in Washington, D.C. Two years later in 1867, Storer College was founded in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, and in 1883, Hartshorn Memorial College opened its doors in Richmond as the first college for African American women. After three decades of operating independently, Richmond Theological Seminary and Wayland Seminary merged on February 11, 1899 to form Virginia Union University. Later, in 1932 and 1964, respectively, Hartshorn Memorial College and Storer College became part of this UNION.  The University provides comprehensive undergraduate liberal arts programs and graduate education for Christian ministries. To this end, a guiding principle of the University's educational program is a strong focus upon moral values and ethics, and students are encouraged to engage in activities that promote self-actualization.

Virginia University – Lynchburg, VA.  

A private, historically black university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university currently offers instruction and degrees, primarily in religious studies, including a Doctor of Ministry program. The campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Virginia University of Lynchburg is the oldest school of higher learning in Lynchburg. The school was founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1888 by the Virginia Baptist State Convention as the coeducational "Lynchburg Baptist Seminary". Classes were first held in 1890 under the name Virginia Seminary.  With the offering of a collegiate program in 1900, the name was again changed, to Virginia Theological Seminary and College. In 1962, the institution was renamed to the Virginia Seminary and College. Finally, in 1996, the school was given its current name. The campus includes three historic academic buildings on 6.82 acres: Graham Hall (1917), Humbles Hall (1920–21) and the Mary Jane Cachelin Memorial Science and Library Building (1946). These buildings and the Hayes Monument (c. 1906) comprise a historic district, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Its first President was the Rev. Phillip F. Morris, pastor of the city's Court Street Baptist Church. Seeking a financial patron, Morris agreed to step down as president rather than yield to the demand of the American Baptist Home Mission Society that he step down from the pulpit to assume full-time leadership of the school. Rev. Morris would later serve as President of the National Baptist Convention. Rev. Gregory W. Hayes, a graduate of Oberlin College, assumed the full-time position as President in 1891, serving until his death in 1906. His wife, Mary Rice Hayes Allen, biracial daughter of a Confederate general and mother of author Carrie Allen McCray, assumed the presidency until replaced by Dr. JRL Diggs in 1908.  In July 2010, the school reached an agreement with Liberty University to help VUL students looking for degrees not offered at the school to complete their degrees at Liberty.

Sadly, let’s not forget…

Saint Paul’s College – Lawrenceville, VA.

Once located in Lawrenceville.  Saint Paul’s College of Virginia is a private college located in Lawrenceville, Virginia.  The college was founded on September 24, 1888, by James Solomon Russell, a newly-ordained deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church. He became the first principal of the institution, which in 1890 was incorporated as the Saint Paul’s Normal and Industrial School by the Virginia Assembly.  On the first day of class in 1888, the school had fewer than a dozen students in attendance. Russell remained principal of Saint Paul’s Normal until his retirement forty years later in 1928. Russell argued that a school was needed to train African American teachers in Virginia and across the South.  Although several other black colleges had been founded with the same mission, Russell believed that more institutions were needed to carry on this work and that the Episcopal Church should support this endeavor. Despite the early desire to train teachers, Saint Paul's earliest students were in enrolled in what was essentially a vocational high school that taught basic skills and trades.  A collegiate department of teacher training was finally established in 1922 and accredited by the Virginia State Board of Education in 1926. From that point Saint Paul’s Normal and Industrial School trained teachers for the segregated schools of Virginia as well as the neighboring states of Maryland and North Carolina. In 1941 the institution adopted a new name, St. Paul's Polytechnic Institute, when the state granted it the authority to offer a four-year program.  The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1944. By 1957 the institution adopted its present name, Saint Paul's College of Virginia, to reflect its liberal arts and teacher education curricula. Unfortunately, the college fell on hard times and was forced to close it doors on June 30, 2013. On April 9, 2014 the 137 acres of land and various historical buildings will be sold by auction.

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