OXO Chapter History
On November 9, 1982, eleven Alpha Kappa Alpha women gathered in Montclair, New Jersey to form a special interest group. Over the next 18 months, more AKAs joined the group and programs of service were established. Finally, on June 30, 1984 Omicron Xi Omega Chapter was chartered and sworn in by the North Atlantic Regional Director, Ruth C. Easley. The thirty-seven charter members of Omicron Xi Omega Chapter were: Carol Allen, Dorothy Banks, Cheryle Blake, Edwina Branch, Cecelia Callaway, Frances Carter, Doris Coleman, Grace Crichlow, Lillyan Crichlow-Carter, Ada Dean, Marie Gaines, Mary Good, Mary Grimstead, Amy Harrison, Jeanne Heningburg, Loretta Hodge, Edith Hurt, Marjorie Kay, Marian Kinchelow, Elizabeth Leach, Alison Moore, Eleanor Newton, Rosie Noble, Dorothy Oliver, Marguerite Page, Sylvia Paterson, Julia Pinderhughes, Joan Wiggins-Reeves, Joyce Robinson, Jayme Rich, Elnora Smith, Frieda Smith, Ella Sweeney, Hortense Tate, Barbara Taylor, Marva Tidwell, and Jane White.
Under the leadership of its first President, Joan Wiggins-Reeves, Omicron Xi Omega Chapter became actively involved with voter registration drives, participated in the national boycott of the Nestle Company, and undertook a special project involving the collection of textbooks for the Haitian community. Over the years, the chapter has served the community through programs such as AKAteens, the Ivy Reading AKAdemy, child ID safety programs, Shoe Boxes for Africa, and Toys for Tots. Members have raised money for the March of Dimes, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation through their participation in numerous walk-a-thons. Omicron Xi Omega Chapter has given well over $130,000 in scholarships to young students and has established a foundation to ensure this important educational giving continues. Throughout recent years, the chapter has partnered with other community organizations such as the Montclair Fund for Women, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Community Partners, the American Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary, the League of Women Voters and Superkidz Kamp, American Red Cross, Salvation Army Montclair Citadel, the Human Needs Pantry, Real House, Inc., and countless other community organizations and services.
Now, Then and Forever…
Omicron Xi Omega Chapter has continued to grow and attract women who are a vital, stimulating, involved, and a forceful presence in the community, with its members participating in voter registration and civil rights activism, to making its marks in the fields of education, government, science, athletics, fine arts, and social constructs. The sisterhood and service of the members of Omicron Xi Omega Chapter truly exemplify the spirit of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc as it continues to educate, engage, and encourage the greater Montclair community.