In November of 2012, Gwendolyn M. Bynum began exploring the idea of establishing the 8th chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® in the Metropolitan Detroit and Ann Arbor area and on December 29, 2012 along with general members Millicent Norton Chambers, Tracey R. Cobb, Carolyn Carter Gray, Linda B. Hamlet, Shamari T. Hamlet, E. Jean Randolph, Joi M. Silver and Lavontria Sykes met at the Arbors Condominiums clubhouse to discuss the interest of these sorority members in establishing an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority presence in Western Oakland County. These “Visionaries” began meeting to determine the geographic area of focus and strategies to recruit general members and inactive members of the sorority who would be willing to perpetuate the mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
The group notified the 27th Great Lakes Regional Director, Charlene Truitt Nelson of their intent to formally submit an application to be recognized as an Official Interest Group. With her encouragement they proceeded with their plans. These nine members selected the name “Legacy of Leadership.”
After some discussion it was determined that Novi, Michigan would be the core focus area and included would be the surrounding communities of Walled Lake, Northville, and South Lyon, Michigan. A meeting was held with representatives from the city of Novi and within a few weeks a letter of endorsement from the Mayor of Novi, Michigan was received. A full demographic and needs assessment was compiled and a calendar of activities was prepared over the next several months. With so much to be completed the group met on a monthly basis with additional members joining.
The group focused growing the membership with like-minded members with a diversity of talents that would enhance excellence in operations, leadership and know-how. In just a few months the membership had grown to forty. They had recruited additional general members, reactivating members, 50+ year members, life members and an undergraduate transitioning to graduate membership.
On February 1, 2014 the application for Establishment of a Graduate Interest Group was submitted to the Regional Director. The group anxiously awaited a response and on April 16, 2014 the telephone call came informing the group leader that the Directorate of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated® had approved the Legacy of Leadership Interest Group (LOL). The official notice was received May 1, 2014. The official announcement to the Great Lakes Region was made in the final edition of the Great Lakes Express newsletter.
On May 18, 2014 the members met and elected officers. They decided to postpone the planning of program activities until after the installation of International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson in July of 2014 at the 66th Boule in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Enthusiastic about the “Launching New Dimensions of Service” program thrust, the members of Legacy of Leadership began launching their program activities in the Novi area with high energy and passion. Implementation of each of the Target areas: Educational Enrichment, Health Promotion, Family Strengthening, Environmental Ownership and Global Impact were just the beginning of a determined desire to showcase Alpha Kappa Alpha in an area that, in spite of being highly diverse had no African American organizations. The Novi city leaders and administrators took an interest in this group of dynamic women and extended their support and partnership opportunities to them. Beginning in August, 2014 Legacy of Leadership Interest Group commenced their 2nd Sunday afternoon monthly meetings at the Novi Civic Center.
On August 17, 2015 the Legacy of Leadership Interest Group submitted their application for the Establishment of a Graduate Chapter to the 28th Great Lakes Regional Director Toni S. Kendrick.
On the evening of Monday, October 19, 2015 Regional Director Toni S. Kendrick called to inform Legacy of Leadership that the Directorate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® under the leadership of International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson had been approved to charter a graduate chapter.
Omega Epsilon Omega was chartered with thirty-seven members on December 13, 2015 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel in Novi, Michigan. Great Lakes Regional Director Toni S. Kendrick presided over the chartering. Immediately following the chartering ceremony more than 500 sorority members, friends and family attended a sold out luncheon. The 37 Charter members are: Kristina Avant-Mays, Yolanda R. Bates, Keenna L. Bell, Jaronique D. Benjamin, Alberta Britton, Tracie J. Britton, Carla Brown Butler, Gwendolyn M. Bynum, Millicent Norton Chambers, Tracey R. Cobb, Charlie M. Donaldson, Rochelle F. Dorn-Hayes, Pamela Gatewood Durden, Elizabeth Louise Walker Foster, Valarie E. Foulks, Carolyn Carter Gray, Linda B. Hamlet, Shamari T. Hamlet, Denise M. Holiday, Kenyatta F. Jackson-Lewis, Dawn Jamison, Lashell Jennings, Sharon Foster Jett, Saundra Landry, Lyah Beth LeFlore, Marquita M. Proctor-Samuel, E. Jean Randolph, Joi M. Silver, Tonie L. Stokes, Lavontria Sykes, Shelby R. Tinsley, Chelsea Vasser, Robin Wallace-London, Nicole Webb-Elder, Brittney M. Webster, Stacia M. Pettus Weeks and Crystal Young-Wilcher.
Omega Epsilon Omega is committed to achieving the Founders’ motto to be of “SERVICE TO ALL MANKIND.”