ORLANDO – Tiffany Moore Russell, Esq., South Atlantic Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® (AKA), raised more than $26,000 to capitalize an endowment through the AKA Education Advancement Foundation (EAF) in her name during her inaugural celebratory luncheon held Aug. 27 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
Hosted by the Metro Orlando AKA chapters, the luncheon celebrated Russell’s installation as the South Atlantic Regional Director and was attended by hundreds of sorority members, local elected officials, as well as members of the Orlando community. During the luncheon, Russell formally launched the “Tiffany Moore Russell Social Justice Legal and Advocacy Endowment,” which was capitalized with a portion of the proceeds and numerous donations that continue to be collected. South Atlantic Region EAF Coordinator Crystal C. Pruitt presented Russell with a check for $24,000.
“The focus of this endowment speaks to the heart of who I am,” Russell told the attendees. “We’re going to give scholarships to undergraduate students seeking to either go to law school or graduate school to focus on advocacy to bring about change in their community. We need more people in positions to bring about change. We need more of us who understand the needs of our community, and they need financing to go on to the next level educationally. Your efforts today will allow us to do that.”
A pioneer, visionary, and history maker committed to service and community, Russell was installed as the South Atlantic Regional Director for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® during the sorority’s international convention held in Orlando last month. Russell leads the largest region in the sorority, with more than 25,000 members who reside in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. As the South Atlantic Regional Director, Russell has charged members of the Significant South Atlantic Region to T.U.N.E. in with her to Transcend, Unite, Nurture, and Empower themselves and the communities they serve.
Attorney Carolyn House Stewart, 28th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, and Norma Solomon White, 25th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, were among the dignitaries who attended the event. Other notable AKA members in attendance include Charletta Wilson Jacks, International First Vice President; Carolyn Gause Randolph, International Secretary; MaKayla Brown, Undergraduate Member-At-Large; and Dr. Lucretia Payton Stewart, Sonja W. Garcia, Vertelle Middleton, Marsha Lewis Brown, Sharon Brown Harriott, all former South Atlantic Regional Directors.
The AKA Educational Advancement Foundation offers an opportunity for members, organizations and corporations to leave a lasting legacy through its Endowment Program. An endowment is a restricted, invested fund from which the interest and dividends earned are used for scholarship awards. The principal is never touched, thereby providing a scholarship “nest egg” for years to come. Special donor stipulations may be used to establish the fund to support a personal commitment, honor a loved one or support a specific profession. A minimum of $20,000 is required to capitalize an endowment.
Russell currently serves as Orange County Clerk of Courts. She is the first Black woman to be elected to the position. She was elected to the Orange County Commission, representing District 6, in November 2006, becoming the youngest county commissioner ever elected to serve on the Orange County Commission, where she served two terms (2006-2014). Always a trailblazer, Russell again made history in 2014 becoming the first Black female clerk of courts elected in Florida and the first Black clerk in Orange County, Florida. Russell has served the people of Orange County, Florida for more than 16 years.
She earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Florida and a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University College of Law. Russell is a charter member, past president and current member of the Psi Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, in Metro Orlando.
Russell is committed to serving all chapters of the South Atlantic Region and helping them carry out the sorority’s six international initiatives: Strengthen Our Sisterhood, Empower Our Families, Build Our Economic Wealth, Enhance Our Environment, Advocate for Social Justice and Uplift Our Local Community.