AKAlades

This is a public blog featuring the accomplishments of members of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.  The content on this page is read-only.  

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  • 28 Jun 2017 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    Hundreds Bid Godspeed to "Dr. K" by Lucy Gellman for The New Haven Independent

    A trailblazer who developed “a monument to education” downtown isn’t saying goodbye. She’s saying godspeed.

    Surrounded by hundreds of friends, family and colleagues, outgoing Gateway Community College President Dorsey “Dr. K” Kendrick made that announcement Wednesday night at a packed celebration of her 18-year tenure and retirement next week.

    Held at Anthony’s Ocean View in Morris Cove, the event doubled as a chance to bring attention to the Dorsey L. Kendrick Access To Success endowment fund, to which attendees had the option of donating. Money raised for that fund Wednesday night will go toward student scholarships. That includes $500 from the Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Inc., a black sorority. 

    Throughout the evening, Kendrick was praised for her groundbreaking efforts to revitalize access to higher education in New Haven. Her tenure included cultivating the college’s special education, nursing, adult education and high school crossover programs and moving Gateway's campus to downtown from Long Wharf.

    A lineup of 20 speakers — none of whom stayed within a suggested two-minute limit, and a few of whom had prerecorded their messages by video — focused not only on Kendrick’s accomplishments, but on the spirit with which she had worked.

    Mayor Toni Harp recalled Kendrick’s fight to institute the nursing program, and the verve with which Kendrick went head-to-head with Connecticut legislators, then-governor John Rowland, and “the nursing profession itself, frankly” before the program began in 2002. It has since graduated almost 1,000 nurses. 

    Others painted a portrait of a woman who was direct but kind, unyielding yet candid and compassionate. Tunxis Community College President Cathryn Addy told attendees she knew Kendrick was special when she’d said, mid-interview for her position at Gateway, that she would “have a little come-to-Jesus meeting and get things settled” if faced with a difficult situation. Chamber of Commerce President Tony Rescigno lauded Kendrick as an educator “with vision focused like a laser beam,” for whom the world stopped when she saw a student in need. And Community Foundation Director Will Ginsberg thanked her for her work as a servant to the city, and changemaker in the community. 

    “You changed the way New Haven thinks of itself,” he said. “You have elevated education for all in this community.”

    So did former Gateway alum and former student body president Abdur Wali. A native New Havener, Wali had grown up walking past Gateway Community College. “I would see the big blue sign saying GCC, and I would dream about being on that terrace,” he recalled.

    Wali didn’t know that Kendrick’s office was up there, or that she was there at all. That changed his first year, when he attended an event where she was speaking, and she instantly became “Dr. K” to him. She issued a call to action that stirred something in him, he said — an urge to push himself even harder academically. He became involved in student government, meeting with Kendrick weekly. When Wali asked her to add a letter to the Black Student Association time capsule, she used it as an opportunity to laud students in the association and to encourage them to use “hope, care, hard work and tenacity” in both their studies and their lives. 

    “There were many times after speaking with her I teared up and cried a little bit,” Wali said, speaking to Kendrick from across the ballroom. “In my mind and in my heart, I consider myself her and Mr. Kendrick’s adopted son ... you have lit the path, lightened the load, and provided a shining example for all of us to follow.”

    Room bursts into applause as Kendrick rose to give her remarks.

    When Kendrick rose to speak at the end of the evening, she kept her remarks brief, her voice wavering every few sentences as she choked back tears.   

    “This is hard, because it is bittersweet,” she began. She then invoked Luke 12:48 (“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”). “I really believe that I have an obligation to do as much as I can to make my little corner of the world the best that I have to give,” she said.

    Cake, a guest book, dancing and conversation awaited attendees after almost 90 minutes of remarks.

    “I know that my work has not been in vain,” she continued, pointing to Gateway’s most recent class of over 1,200 students. “To think that I may have made a difference for even one student makes the journey so much sweeter…. I want to thank God for giving me the life that I have, so that I could do the work that I did on behalf of the citizens of this community and for the state. I am grateful to have been of service.” 

    “I shall not say goodbye tonight, rather godspeed,” she added. “May the best that life has to offer come to each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of my life, my vision, my hopes and dreams and aspirations for the last 18 years. I am humbled to have been able to serve.”

    Asked how he is planning to handle the transition, incoming Gateway Paul Broadie said that the end of Kendrick’s tenure marks “tremendous opportunity for both Housatonic and Gateway.” (He’ll be running both community college branches.) Broadie credited Kendrick with building “a strong foundation” for her successors and that he looks forward to relying on Gateway’s “exceptional faculty, staff and administration.” 

    Published 6/22/17: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/dorsey_kendrick_dinner/

  • 13 Feb 2017 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega salutes our chapter member Shelly Daniley Hicks, who is the February Survivor of the Month for Sisters' Journey.  Learn more about Shelly's path toward health and healing.  We honor all of our Theta Epsilon Omega members and women across the globe who navigate their journey with courage and conviction.

    You can read her story here:

    https://www.sistersjourney.org/our-calendars/2017-calendar?active=02#stories

  • 11 Jan 2017 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter Member, Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor is among this list of esteemed early-career scientist.  Dr. Taylor, an associate professor of nursing at the Yale School of Nursing, is the first woman of color to earn tenure since the nursing school's 91 year history.  


    The White House

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release

    January 09, 2017

    Today, President Obama named 102 scientists and researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
     
    “I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Obama said. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”
     
    The Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges. This year’s recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, and the Intelligence Community. These departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.
     
    The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
     
    The newest recipients are:
     
    Department of Agriculture
    Michelle Cilia, USDA Agricultural Research Service
    Pankaj Lal, Montclair State University
    Michael Ulyshen, USDA Forest Service
     
    Department of Commerce

    Nicholas Butch, NIST Center for Neutron Research
    Mandy Karnauskas, NOAA Fisheries
    Anne Perring, University of Colorado, Boulder
    Corey Potvin, University of Oklahoma
    John Teufel, NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory
    Justin Zook, NIST Material Measurement Laboratory
     
    Department of Defense
    Michael Bell, Colorado State University
    Nurcin Celik, University of Miami
    Kaushik Chowdhury, Northeastern University
    Shawn Douglas, University of California, San Francisco
    Christopher Dyer, DeepMind and Carnegie Mellon University
    Aaron Esser-Kahn, University of California, Irvine
    Sinan Keten, Northwestern University
    Jonathan Fan, Stanford University
    Danna Freedman, Northwestern University
    Thomas Harris, Northwestern University
    David Hsieh, California Institute of Technology
    Osama Nayfeh, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center-Pacific
    Olukayode Okusaga, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory 
    Joseph Parker, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory 
    Adam Pilchak, Air Force Research Laboratory 
    Harris Wang, Columbia University
     
    Department of Education
    Daphna Bassok, University of Virginia
    Shayne Piasta, The Ohio State University
     
    Department of Energy
    Jonathan Belof, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Carl Dahl, Northwestern University
    Eric Duoss, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    Anna Grassellino, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
    Jacqueline Hakala, National Energy Technology Laboratory
    Stephanie Hansen, Sandia National Laboratories
    Kory Hedman, Arizona State University
    Alan Kruizenga, Sandia National Laboratories
    Wei Li, Rice University
    Guglielmo Scovazzi, Duke University
    Michael Tonks, Penn State University
    Jenny Yang, University of California, Irvine
    John Yeager, Los Alamos National Laboratory
     
    Department of Health and Human Services
    Gregory Alushin, Rockefeller University
    Manish Arora, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Dawn Cornelison, University of Missouri
    Kashmira Date, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Craig Duvall, Vanderbilt University
    Nicholas Gilpin, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center 
    Anna Greka, Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Pamela Guerrerio, National Institutes of Health
    Gery Guy, Jr., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Christine Hendon, Columbia University
    Catherine Karr, University of Washington
    Maria Lehtinen, Boston Children's Hospital
    Adriana Lleras-Muney, University of California, Los Angeles
    Mary Kay Lobo, University of Maryland School of Medicine
    Michael McAlpine, University of Minnesota
    Eric Morrow, Brown University 
    Daniel O'Connor, Johns Hopkins University
    Aimee Shen, Tufts University
    Cui Tao, University of Texas
    Jacquelyn Taylor, Yale School of Nursing
    Benjamin Voight, University of Pennsylvania
    Matthew Wheeler, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Blake Wiedenheft, Montana State University
       
    Department of Interior
    Nathaniel Hitt, U.S. Geological Survey
    Sarah Minson, U.S. Geological Survey
    Diann Prosser, U.S. Geological Survey
     
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Adam Rose, RAND Corporation and Boston Medical Center
    Nasia Safdar, Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
    Joshua Yarrow, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
     
    Environmental Protection Agency
    Havala Pye, Environmental Protection Agency
    Sala Senkayi, Environmental Protection Agency
     
    Intelligence Community
    Matthew Dicken, U.S. Army
    Josiah Dykstra, National Security Agency
    James Kang, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
    Jason Matheny, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    David Moehring, IonQ, Inc.
    R. Jacob Vogelstein, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Jeremy Bassis, University of Michigan
    Othmane Benafan, NASA Glenn Research Center
    Dalia Kirschbaum, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Marco Pavone, Stanford University
    Miguel Roman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
     
    National Science Foundation
    Alicia Alonzo, Michigan State University
    Randy Ewoldt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Emily Fox, University of Washington
    Jacob Fox, Stanford University
    Eric Hudson, University of California, Los Angeles
    Shawn Jordan, Arizona State University
    Ahmad Khalil, Boston University
    Oleg Komogortsev, Texas State University, San Marcos
    John Kovac, Harvard University
    Bérénice Mettler, University of Minnesota and icuemotion, LLC
    Jelani Nelson, Harvard University
    Elizabeth Nolan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Michael Rotkowitz, University of Maryland, College Park
    Andrea Sweigart, University of Georgia
    Chuanbing Tang, University of South Carolina
    Aradhna Tripati, University of California, Los Angeles
    Franck Vernerey, University of Colorado, Boulder
    Juan Pablo Vielma Centeno, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Makeba Wilbourn, Duke University 
       
    Smithsonian Institution
    Nicholas Pyenson, Smithsonian Institution

    ------------

    Whitehouse.gov Press Release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/09/president-obama-honors-federally-funded-early-career-scientists

  • 31 Oct 2016 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Attorney Elicia Pegues Spearman who, in October 2016, received the Lifetime Humanitarian Service Award from Kingdom International Economic Development Corporation (KIEDC).  For over 30 years, KIEDC has met the needs of communities in the greater New Haven, Bridgeport, and Hartford areas.  The organization feeds thousands of needy families during the holidays, provides warm winter clothing, toys for needy children, youth development, and women empowerment training.  Attorney Spearman has served KIEDC, a nonprofit organization, as their pro bono Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer for over ten years.  She is a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated with over 25 years of uninterrupted  membership in the sorority.  Attorney Spearman is also a former president of Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter.

  • 23 Feb 2016 5:25 PM | Anonymous

    New Haven NAACP celebrates stamp for black church founder

    New Haven Register, February 18, 2016

    By Ed Stannard, New Haven Register

    Greater New Haven Branch NAACP First Vice President Anthony Dawson, left, and President Dori Dumas, center, assist New Haven Postmaster Tom Sullivan unveil the USPS 39th commemorative edition Black Heritage stamp of Bishop Richard Allen during a ceremony at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Haven Thursday.

    NEW HAVEN - For the Rev. Orsella Cooper-Hughes, the new Bishop Richard Allen postage stamp brings together her family history with her faith as a member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

    Her father, Daniel Cooper, worked in the U.S. Postal Service for 40 years and, as she told the members of the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP Thursday night, “I am A.M.E.-born, A.M.E.-bred, and when I die I’ll be A.M.E.-dead.”

    Cooper-Hughes, associate minister at Bethel, spoke at the unveiling of the new 49-cent “forever” stamp at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She was still brimming with excitement because she and her father traveled to Philadelphia on Feb. 2 for the stamp’s first-day ceremony at Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, which Allen founded 200 years ago so that African-Americans would have a church in which to worship freely.

    “This to me was like Independence Day, this was like Christmas morning as far as I was concerned,” she said of the trip.

    Allen, who was born in slavery in 1760, led the black members out of St. George’s Methodist Church, where they were forced to sit in the balcony, to found their own church in 1787. It became the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, the first denomination not founded for theological reasons.

    As Robert Gibson, a retired teacher at James Hillhouse High School, said, “In this case, the reason for the rise of the A.M.E. Church was American racism. If those Christians in that church (St. George’s) had acted like real Christians, then the blacks and the whites could have fellowshipped together.”

    While Sunday morning is often called the most segregated time of the week, Gibson said, “It didn’t have to be that way. Because what happened in St. George’s Church happened across the country.”

    Gibson talked about Allen’s legacy as a slave who bought his freedom for $2,000, worked as an abolitionist and on the Underground Railroad. “He was really dedicated to preaching the gospel … building up his community, developing his community. … What was really remarkable about him was that he had no bitterness,” Gibson said.

    Instead, he founded a denomination that has 7.5 million members in 39 countries and in 12,000 congregations. In Philadelphia, “they formed the first independent black denomination in the world,” Gibson said. “From that founding in 1816 the church grew, spread around the world.”

    Dori Dumas, president of the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP and a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church on Goffe Street, said Allen is not just “significant and important to the A.M.E. Church. … We felt it was very important that we share this with the greater community.”

    New Haven Postmaster Tom Sullivan said the Richard Allen stamp is the 39th in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. “What I love about black history is it brings to the youth the history I think we lose,” adding that the Allen stamp in particular represents “the tribulations and the triumphs (of) 7.5 million A.M.E. members throughout the world.”

    Bethel A.M.E. Church also plans a celebration of the stamp at its 10 a.m. Sunday service, after which the stamp will be available for sale.

    http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20160218/new-haven-naacp-celebrates-stamp-for-black-church-founder

  • 19 Mar 2015 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean co-authored a report critical to understanding the impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the future of voting rights.  The report provides data on minority voter turnout, racially polarized voting, policy outcomes by race, and the number of minority-elected officials from the enactment of the Voting Rights Act until today.  Click here to read the full report: 50 Years of the Voting Rights Act: The State of Race in Politics.

    She presented the report in Selma, Alabama in honor of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  A story about her Journey to Selma is available in the Inner City News and reprinted here.

    Dr. Brown-Dean recently received tenure status as an Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

  • 19 Mar 2015 11:14 AM | Anonymous

    Announcement from the Yale University Comer School Development Program:

    Two Comer schools are the focus of an inspiring new documentary, 180 Days: Hartsville that aired on PBS (check local listings) in March of 2015.  The two-hour special was co-produced by South Carolina ETV and National Black Programming Consortium with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of "American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen," a public media initiative to stem the dropout crisis by supporting community-based solutions.

    180 Days: Hartsville is a panel discussion that includes an interview with Dr. Camille Cooper, the Comer School Development Program's Director of Teaching, Learning, and Development, who is leading the implementation of the Comer model in Hartsville.  

    Click here to learn more about 180 Days: Hartsville.

  • 19 Mar 2015 9:53 AM | Anonymous

    Theta Epsilon Omega Chapter congratulates Dori Dumas on being showcased by the Yale University's Working Women's Network (WWN).  The WWN provides programs and resources to Yale University's women employees, and champions the exploration and pursuit of personal and professional goals in order to enhance their individual success while also furthering the advancement of the university.  Click here to read Mrs. Dumas' spotlight interview.  

  • 30 Nov 2014 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Jacquelyn Y. Taylor, associate professor of nursing at the Yale School of Nursing, is the first woman of color to earn tenure since the nursing school's 91 year history.  She was also recently awarded a $3.4 million grant to conduct a 5-year study on high blood pressure in African-American women and their young children, titled "Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure." 

    Related news articles:

    YSN Associate Professor Awarded National Institute of Nursing Research Grant

    Identifying the Causes of a Persistent Health Disparity: High Blood Pressure
    Among African-Americans

    Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure

  • 05 Oct 2014 9:24 AM | Anonymous

    New Haven NAACP’s 1st elected female President Dori Dumas called a ‘born leader’

    DORI DUMAS CALLED A ‘BORN LEADER’

    NEW HAVEN>> After nearly a century of existence for the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP, Dori Dumas shattered the glass ceiling this summer, becoming the first elected female president of a chapter that was established in 1917.

    Now several months into her term, Dumas, 50, said the critical issues facing people of color are employment opportunities, home ownership and transportation.

    “Transportation is a huge issue in the city. A lot of people in New Haven have to go outside to get jobs (and) the issue is getting there and then getting home,” said Dumas. “...There are just not a lot of jobs in New Haven.” she said.

    Dumas, a city native and James Hillhouse House School graduate, served as first vice president of the organization before being elected to the branch’s top seat in June.

    She replaced outgoing president Jim Rawlings, who stepped down a year into his fourth two-year term to tend to other causes that were dear to him.

    Rawlings said Dumas will do “a wonderful job” because she is prepared to lead the New Haven organization. The branch organization has more than 800 members.

    “The issue of civil rights is not going away. It’s much more sophisticated in terms of the challenges we have in urban America, but Dori has been groomed for this (work) and she has tremendous respect in the community,” said Rawlings.

    Last March, the branch released its “Urban Apartheid” report, a data-driven document that detailed startling economic, educational, health and other disparities between white people and those of color in the region.

    RACIAL EQUALITY AND LEADERSHIP

    Dumas said working to close the education gap will be a primary initiative in her first term.

    “I’m putting together a new education committee and we’ll be (working) with Dr. (James P.) Comer to really try to make an impact in our communities,” she said.

    “We’ve met with Mayor (Toni) Harp, the superintendent of schools, and presidents of area colleges,” Dumas said. “I’ll be sitting down with the experts in the field to see where the NAACP can have impact, so we can move together as a community.”

    While some organizations struggle to maintain membership and volunteers, Dumas said, the branch has not lost its footing in the community.

    “We’re working harder than ever, we’re getting flooded with calls for our help and support,” said Dumas, who is also a graduate of Albertus Magnus College, with degrees in business and economics.

    “It’s like anything, people complain until they need us; we’re the first one they call,” she said. “We just want to find solutions.”

    Shawna Woodard, the branch assistant secretary, said she’s always known Dumas to be in a leadership capacity.

    “She’s a natural born leader, and what I admire most about her is her motivation. She is not motivated by personal interest or ego; she’s motivated by working in the parameters of the organization and the parameters of her leadership position,” said Woodard, who has been with the branch for more than 15 years.

    “A good leader is not driven by self-interest or ego; that’s Dori,” Woodard said.

    Dumas, who has been a member of the organization for 25 years, said one of the successes of the branch is the Community Impact Mortgage Program, a partnership between the branch and First Niagara Bank.

    Home ownership is a critical element of building wealth and legacy for people of color. “And we are answering that call for the community with our program,” she said.

    The program assists each qualified urban home buyer by providing up to $10,000 in a forgivable loan for a down payment and closing costs. Qualified buyers also will have access to education and financial fitness workshops, as well as individual consultations and assistance.

    Voter registration drives are another area of success for the branch.

    “We’ve always had a very strong impact with voter registration. Not only getting people to register, but educating them and getting them out to vote,” Dumas said.

    “We know that’s where our voice and the power is, and we’re here to make sure that people understand that,” she said.

    “We fought and died for this right and it’s something that should not be taken for granted.”

    EYES ON GOVERNOR’S RACE

    According to a Quinnipiac Quinnipaicpoll, likely voters say Republican Tom Foley would do a better job with the economy and state spending, putting him ahead of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by 6 percentage points in the contest for governor.

    Other political analysts see the race as a toss-up.

    Regardless of the political party preference, Dumas said, people of color have to cast their ballot.

    “This governor’s race is very critical for people of color. We’re nonpartisan, but people need to clearly look at the issues around jobs and education and the candidates’ platforms they’re supporting,” she said.

    “This race is going to matter,” she said. “Things can change depending on who is in office for people in urban communities; we really need to pay attention.”

    Dumas acknowledged that there is no official black political agenda, but said, “We all (people of color) have the same issues and things that we’re concerned about and paying attention too.”

    The Register reached out to the candidates for an opportunity to discuss their urban policy with voters in New Haven at a community forum, but schedules didn’t permit it to be held.

    SPEAKING OUT ON IMPORTANT ISSUES

    Long time Dumas friend and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sister and lawyer Elicia Pegues-Spearman said one of Dumas’ challenges will be continued pressure for civic and community engagement.

    “Voter registration is always key to our community (as is) understanding why being involved in the political process makes a difference in the community,” said Pegues-Spearman, who’s the International Leadership Fellows Committee chairwoman of the sorority.

    Pegues-Spearman said Dumas’s best qualities are her dedication and the courage of speaking on issues that may not be popular.

    “She has the spirit of community service. It’s the appropriate time to use her experience in this role,” she said.

    Last month, members of the New Haven Fire Department and Dumas expressed frustration to the Board of Fire Commissioners over Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Egan, after the branch accused him of discrimination, violating health privacy laws and mishandling a personnel investigation.

    Eagan has been placed on paid administrative leave.

    “My leadership will try to be proactive rather than reactive. We rather work on things we can clearly see and make improvements right away before they become a problem,” said Dumas.

    She said finger-pointing is not good enough.

    “When we know that the faculty of schools, the police department and fire department are not looking like the community it serves, we’re proactive and willing to hold those organizations/agencies accountable,” she said.

    “We just don’t want to talk and point out the problem; we want impact. We are at the table helping make decisions, because most times the people who are making decisions about our life don’t look like us, and that’s unacceptable.”

    FEMALE IN CHARGE

    NAACP State President Scot X Esdaile said Dumas has been a solider in the branch for many years.

    “It’s well-deserving and so far she has done an outstanding job and I’m proud of her,” said Esdaile.

    While Dumas is the first woman elected as Greater New Haven branch president, she is not the first woman to serve in the post. Rolan Young served a year as branch president in 2000. Young, elected as first vice president, succeeded Roger Vann when he left the top post.

    Esdaile said Dumas will have to face the challenge of a male-dominated role.

    “The civil rights community is dominated by males, historically. It’s going to be interesting to see a female at the helm of leadership, but if there is anyone that can do it, it’s her,” he said. “She’ll make her mark as a civil rights activist in the largest branch in the state.”

    Rawlings said she shouldn’t face any challenges as female president.

    “If she wasn’t a known entity, it would be different. But across the state we have a pretty good representation of females that are branch presidents,” he said.“Dori has been the backbone of the organization.”

    Woodard said Dumas will not get any push back as a female.

    “In any other situation, I would say yes. But Dori has been a prominent face for the organization for years and has earned the respect of all members,” she said.

    COMMUNITY CHAMPION

    Dumas has been called a champion of community service by members of the branch and the local chapter of Theta Epsilon Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., of which she’s a member.

    “She’s very sincere and passionate about the work that she does. She has this level of energy that’s kind of unparalleled,” said Theta Epsilon Omega chapter President Nicole Murphy.

    “She’s going to fight and go hard for the causes she believes in,” said Murphy. “It’s her commitment, consistency and compassion that has definitely made an impact on our chapter and community.”

    Dumas said growing up, she had mentors who happened to be members of the sorority.

    “I know how they treated me and the impact that they had on me in the community,” said Dumas. “I’ve always been community-minded and held myself to a certain standard and AKA met that for me.”

    Dumas is motivated by her family and her love for New Haven. She said she loves opening up doors for young people and seeing progress in the community.

    Dumas is hopeful to see a black or Latino governor during her lifetime.

    Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that while Dori Dumas is the first woman elected as Greater New Haven Branch president, she is not the first woman to serve in the post. Rolan Young served a year as branch president in 2000. Young, elected as first vice president, succeeded Roger Vann when he left the top post.

    Call Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim at 203-680-9343. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at AskTheRegister.com.

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