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Today we welcome Ms. Danette Anthony Reed to the Get Up Church. Reed is the International President & CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, elected in July 2022. Reed brings 46 years of experience with AKA Soroity Inc and was a charter member of Omicron Mu Omega Chapter, in Dallas, TX, where she is currently a member.
Reed talks to Get Up’s Erica Campbell about the role that black sororities and fraternities in society today. Reed also sheds a light on some of her long-term goal while she is the International President of the illustrious Sorority.
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Erica Campbell: We’ll talk about Alpha Kappa Alpha and all the wonderful things you’re doing in just a moment. But first, let’s take a little time to talk about the impact of black sororities and fraternities on society today.
Danette Anthony Reed: This is what I’ll tell you. You know, a lot of folks don’t see everything that we’re doing because we work kind of behind the scenes. But our goal is to make sure that we support and serve an Alpha Kappa Alpha way, all mankind. If we look at all fraternities and sororities, as far as the divine nine, we’re trying to make sure that we do service to our communities, so that we leave an impact on any city, any state.
Danette Anthony Reed: I love it. Congratulations on your new role, as the International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, was this long term goal for you to be the International President?
Erica Campbell: Well, let me tell you, I joined Alpha Kappa Alpha, and I was a freshman. And so I’m a legacy. And so when you say a legacy, that means my mother is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. My father was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. And they both talked to me before I went to school. And it wasn’t like there was a question they said, Okay, you got to be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. So I know what direction I was gonna go.
Danette Anthony Reed: Wow. Wow. I love it. I understand that the theme of your administration is soaring to greater heights of service and sisterhood. As the president and CEO, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?
Erica Campbell: Well, you know, we have a lot of different areas we’ll go to work on. But when I talk about empowering our families, one of the things we want to do is provide 1,908,000 meals each year through a program called “Shift” and I’ll tell you a little bit more about that later. We’re going to have a youth leadership institute that will impact 15,000 children, and we’re going to educate our members on mental health awareness. Our goal is to fight the stigma and increase awareness and we’re going to support our seniors. Now as we keep going, because they have a lot of other areas we’re going to work on. But I’ll just tell you the highlights, we’re going to build economic wealth, and enhance our environment, we’re gonna go out and plant trees, there’s power and trees. We’re going to advocate for social justice, and we’re going to uplift our local community.
Erica Campbell: I love that. You’ve had lots of success in corporate America as well, not only are you an engineer, but you were the first African American woman Plant Director for Frito Lay, among other things. What advice would you give to women who are striving to move up the corporate ladder?
Danette Anthony Reed: You know, there’s a couple of things I would say, for those who are moving up the corporate ladder, there are two things you need to do. If you do a great job. And you always do well, it means you get to keep the job. If you want to do more, you need a mentor, and you need a sponsor. And make sure you understand the difference between a mentor and a sponsor. The sponsor is key. A sponsor is the one who sits around the table and speaking for you and help pull you up. You need to always be on your P’s and Q’s with the sponsor, and making sure that they know that you’re ready for the next row. Now your mentor is your buddy. And then the person you can talk to and learn and understand and know what you need to do to be able to get through to the sponsor and be able to get to the next level. And then when you can kind of have those serious talks and learn thing.
Erica Campbell: Absolutely. We are talking to the international president and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Ms. Danette Anthony Reed. How can people follow you on social media?
Erica Campbell: I love it. I love it. Before we wrap I want to know how proud you are you have the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, who is, of course, your sorority sister,
Danette Anthony Reed: Let me tell you, I am so proud. We were so ecstatic when she won that position. And I’ll tell you why. Because what it showed is that we as Alpha Kappa Alpha women, we are activists in our communities. And what we did was helped make sure that we mobilized to support our sister. And what we have proven is we have the power and the leverage to make sure that we can activate black communities and beyond so that every voice matters that we do that, we can have more. Kamala Harris.
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