PAST NMAC PRESIDENTS
KIM M. WILLIAMSON
Sixteen years after the groundbreaking leadership of four chapter presidents, North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter fused its community service efforts under the trademark Innovative Programming With a Far-Reaching Impact. This first-ever theme when I was NMAC’s fifth president, set the stage for new programs conceived with our culturally diverse community at the forefront. We also committed to internal chapter development and got “Back to Basics” to maintain our close sisterly bond, in the midst of the chapter’s rapid growth. NMAC was maturing as a chapter. We desired to create programs offering immediate and long-term impactful changes to benefit the residents of the Northern Manhattan community.
The Northern Manhattan community was ripe for NMAC’s socially conscious programming. When police brutality issues reared its head, NMAC responded with a Police Brutality Forum and pocket guide to address exactly "what to do” if stopped by the police. The need for “quality public education” in Washington Heights prompted NMAC to launch a series of Public School Education Seminars focused on: parental rights, admittance strategies, curriculum development, testing and SAT preparation. The taboo subject of clinical depression was a national health and wellness initiative and NMAC confronted the topic head-on. Our year-long Clinical Depression Screening Program garnered an award at the 44th National Convention in New Orleans (1998). The Big Easy had even more surprises for NMAC. We received Special Recognition in Social Action for programs on media literacy, letter writing campaigns targeting Senate confirmation hearings, voter registration and education initiatives. No chapter had ever received national praise for social action programming, and NMAC’s work was publicly acknowledged for inspiring the establishment of the National Social Action Award, first given at the 45th National Convention.
Our impactful chapter initiatives included investment workshops and various health maintenance initiatives targeting the Black and Latino communities. Successful fundraising efforts enabled the chapter to increase academic scholarship awards for its five recipients, and the commitment to inspire future leaders, activists and artists never ceased:
City Youth @ City Hall
May Week - showcase for youth with artistic talent
Art Contests - Power of the Pen: Spotlight on Play Writing & Power of the Paint Brush
Black History Month Program - The African Diaspora & The Evolution of Gospel
School America - Reading/Storytelling Hour
Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Leadership Academy for young women
With help from the dedicated women of NMAC the chapter simultaneously took care of the community at-large and nurtured itself from within. Along the way, change also brought profound loss with the passing of beloved Soror and Charter Member, Dr. Betty Shabazz.
A new vision meant taking risks. Perseverance turned risks into possibilities. Commitment and Sisterhood turn uncertainty into reality. We continue ever motivated with the charge “Innovative Programming With A Far-Reaching Impact."