Lambda Kappa Omega News and Events

Pretty Aware Initiative Delivers a Striking Blow to Breast Cancer

By: Corina Adams, Health and Wellness Committee

The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated™️, Lambda Kappa Omega Chapter on Thursday, October 21, 2021, hosted an informative virtual panel discussion as part of their Pretty Aware Breast Cancer campaign. Lambda Kappa Omega partnered with Life with Cancer and the Top Ladies of Distinction, Incorporated, Haymarket-Gainesville Chapter to feature leading Fairfax-based experts in women’s healthcare for a riveting discussion on how to cope with and beat breast cancer.

Tanja Thompson, a two-time breast cancer survivor and renowned author of “What to Expect When You Weren’t Expecting Breast Cancer” kicked off the event with the touching story of her initial diagnosis and how she ultimately turned tragedy into triumph. Tanja, a decorated Air Force veteran with no family history of breast cancer, explains how she learned to turn to others for help and support during one of the darkest times of her life. After beating cancer, Tanja later discovered that it had returned, leaving her distraught and in despair. Again, Tanja embodied her soldier mentality and fought her way to recovery. Tanja started the Breast Cancer Move Foundation to inspire and encourage women to remove the shame and stimga from their diagnosis and to seek the resources that are available to them.

Next, Dr. Kathleen Harnden, a medical oncologist, led an in-depth discussion about breast health and breast cancer. Her discussion included her recommendation that women administer routine self breast examinations and request 3D mammograms when they reach 40 years of age. Women with a family history of breast cancer can also request a mammogram before they reach the prescribed age. Dr. Harnden explained how advances in mammography and technology have allowed physicians to identify and treat cancer earlier than ever before.

Next, Registered Dietician Lauren Fay and fitness guru and breast cancer survivor Kirstie Pomaranski tag-teamed a discussion about how lifestyle changes can improve the bodies ability to fight off cancerous cells and improve overall health. Lauren is board certified in oncology nutrition (CSO) as well as nutrition support (CNSC). She explained how scientific research on food intake had helped uncover correlations across food and diet and breast cancer diagnosis. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends that incorporating a plant-based diet, minimizing stress, and avoiding meals after 8:00 p.m. can decrease the likelihood of a breast cancer diagnosis. Kirstie went on to describe her own personal journey with breast cancer and how she was able to cope by incorporating a healthy lifestyle into her daily regime. Kirstie discussed the importance of mindfulness and finding healthy ways to cope with stress.

Carmen Hilton, LCSW rounded out the panel discussion with a presentation on how to cope with a breast cancer diagnosis and to support those dealing with a new diagnosis. Carmen emphasized the need for support and healthy outlets to deal with depression and anxiety, such as prayer, meditation and a network of trusted supporters.

To view a recast of our event in its entirety, press play below.

Lambda Kappa Omega Announces its First Black Business Award

By: Marcia Morris, Programs Chair

Entrepreneurship and the Black Dollar 365 is one of the main components of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.’s Target 3: Building Your Economic Legacy. In support of this initiative, Lambda Kappa Omega is pleased to recognize and celebrate small businesses in the DMV area.

Our first award recipient is Vince Johnson, a proud military veteran, and proprietor of Shuck Shack located in Pentagon City.

Shuck Shack opened in Pentagon City Mall in October of 2019. After a strong start, the location temporarily closed in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, Mr. Johnson added a food truck version of Shuck Shack that contracts with Ft. Belvoir and Ft. Myers.

The Shuck Shack offers roasted corn coated with a tasty mixture of spices, a popular Mexican style street food. Its full menu includes items such as sweet butter, cream, parmesan cheese, chili lime, and mojo marinade, just to name a few.

Although the mall location has reopened, sales are still down considerably from what they once were. Mr. Johnson is not deterred, “I have come to the realization that all I can do is hold on, keep the doors open, and pray.” We are certainly doing the same for the Shuck Shack and all small businesses in our area.

We look forward to highlighting small businesses in the area and sharing their stories of success. Please help us support their growth.

If you know of any Black-Owned Businesses in the DMV area, let us know about them by completing this form.

Lambda Kappa Omega Flexes Green Thumb on Earth Day

By: Corina Adams, Health and Wellness Committee

As more than 100 nations across the globe embarked on the 51st celebration of Earth Day, it only felt right to flex our newfound green thumbs (and pinkies) and honor a few Black-owned enterprises along the way.

On April 22, the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Lambda Kappa Omega chapter joined forces with local entrepreneurs, Nutritionist Stephanie Hall and Urban Farmer Matthew Williams, for a virtual Sip and Plant event.

This event was part of AKA’s national Women’s Health target program and was focused on raising community awareness of critical health issues impacting African American women’s, nutrition and wellness.

The Sip and Plant event kicked off with a brief introduction from integrative nutrition coach and plant-based chef Stephanie Hall, who told her personal journey of transforming her allergies and low energy levels into a lifestyle change.

In 2005, Stephanie left her decades-long career in IT to pursue her passion, adding that “juicing is one of my favorite topics because it’s the foundation for healthy eating.”

Stephanie led virtual participants through a demo on how to combine organic kale, romaine, cucumber, ginger root, fuji apples, and lemon to create her famous Greenery juice, which is known for its gentle rejuvenating quality.

Next participants were greeted by Matthew Williams, a local urban farmer from Wilmington, DE. Matthew is a living testament of his mantra, education + exposure = economic opportunity.

While attending Delaware State University, Matthew participated in a nationwide urban farming tour. Inspired by the tale of one local farmer in Virginia, who owned land that was previously toiled by slaves, Matthew was determined to learn more about farming. Upon returning to Delaware, Matthew learned about the Brownfield program that seeks to assist those interested in rehabilitating property.

Matthew currently farms on a quarter acre lot in downtown Wilmington, one of nine parcels he owns throughout the city.

The Sip and Plant concluded with Matthew leading 60 participants through a virtual demonstration on how to plant potted herbs.

Target 3: Operation AKA Assist and Reclamation Event

By: Marcia Morris, Programs Chair

Lambda Kappa Omega (Fairfax, VA) Social Action and Membership Committees partnered for the second year in a row to increase awareness of the plight of homeless women, teenaged girls, and children. In support of Operation AKA Assist, members donated a total of $4092 to BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters), a Fairfax County, VA 501c3 organization that provides pads, tampons, and new undergarments to women and teen girls and critical supplies to children in transitional housing and emergency shelters.

The virtual venue for the evening was a lively celebration of the 113th anniversary of our founding. Lambda Kappa Omega’s Membership Committee hosted current chapter members and guest inactive members for a combination Founders’ Day and reclamation event. Participants were encouraged to set up their prettiest pink and green tea sets and dressed to impress in their favorite AKA tee shirts and finest tea party attire for the affair. The evening’s entertainment included break out rooms, a virtual fashion show, and an AKA-themed scavenger hunt.

By: Kerry Cropper, Health and Wellness Committee Co-Chair

In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Lambda Kappa Omega chapter on October 8, 2020, held a virtual event tilted, “Breast Cancer During a Pandemic” which featured providers who specialize in breast care. Specialists included Dr. Jocelyn Rapelyea, who specializes in breast imaging and intervention; Dr. Kirsten Edmiston, who specializes in breast surgery; Kimberly Matthijssen, who specializes in Genetics Counseling, MS, LCGC; and Licensed Professional Counselor. Jewell Daquin, M.Ed, LPC. Interested in learning more about breast health resources in Fairfax, Virginia, visit Fairfax Radiology. Below are two helpful videos about mammograms: