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On a balmy Monday, June 15th, 2009 at 6:00 p.m., Sorors Serious About Sisterhood & Service met at the Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, New Jersey. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss creating an interest group and ultimately a chapter of Alpha Kappa Sorority, Incorporated®, servicing the 4 communities in Union County, New Jersey. Seventeen members (17) strong, we eventually became the Cultured Pearls for Progress.
Throughout the years and various national and regional administrations, the process stalled. However, finally on November 6, 2015, under the leadership of North Atlantic Regional Director Meredith L. Henderson, the Directorate approved the Cultured Pearls for Progress as an official Interest Group based in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The many years of dedication, commitment, numerous community service endeavors and fundraising more than $5,000 paid off, as the Cultured Pearls for Progress Interest Group was approved on October 12, 2017, to become a chapter.
Since its inception, the Cultured Pearls have collaborated with many groups in addressing the needs of Elizabeth and the surrounding communities of eastern Union County. We have adopted families for the holidays, donated food and Christmas toys, collected and distributed coats, assisted in financial literacy workshops, helped seniors, facilitated a healthy heart seminar, mentored teens and served meals to the homeless. Our community partners include the City of Elizabeth, the Boys and Girls Club, Street Light Mission, Rising Tide Capital, the United Way, Trinitas Hospital, Union Baptist Church and the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. We also participated in Elizabeth’s Solidarity Walk for Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Healing with Community Access Unlimited, and the Uniquely Me program with the Girl Scouts of Union County, a six-part workshop series designed to foster positive self-esteem among young women in grades 6 through 8.
In recounting our history, we don’t always talk about the almost nine (9) years it took for us to be chartered. But it is worth mentioning because we want others to know that Omega Psi Omega exemplifies tenacity and perseverance. We are a chapter that executes visions and strives for only the best.
Although our chapter is officially only five years old, we already have a rich history of more than a decade behind us. To date, we have 45 members and will continue to build on Omega Psi Omega’s legacy and add to the rich history of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, because we are a chapter composed of phenomenal women who do not quit.