NEW JERSEY STATE STEERING COMMITTEE
The National Council of Negro Women (Mercer County Section) hosted its Inaugural Induction and Gala event at The Pine Manor located at 2085 NJ-27, in Edison, New Jersey on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 12noon. Vice Chair E. Tonya Greenwood conducted the ceremony for the Chartering and Installation of officers. The Mercer County Section currently has 65 Members and Associates and has met all requirements to charter a section and the NCNW National Membership Director recognized the Section’s members at the event as well.
The Inaugural Ceremony was chaired by Lossie Whitaker-Thornton and co-chaired by Evelyn Kirkland, Katrina Moore and Brittany Kirkland. The theme was Lift the Legacy. The Section marched in wearing black dresses and pearls as the state of New Jersey celebrated with them. Councilwoman Shanel Robinson was the Mistress of Ceremony and joined on that day. There were vendors, raffles, a silent auction, poems, presentations and gifts! The candle lightning portion of the program was magical as each Sister in Council lit a candle which symbolized “We are the light of the world.” Each Sister in Council received a plaque for membership along with a special U.S. Coin with the face of the former NCNW President Dorothy Height which was presented by Vice Chair E. Tonya Greenwood.
Dr. Battle, presented awards to members who went above & far beyond the call of duty. This years’ Lift the Legacy Award for 2017 went to Millennials; Corinne Thomas, Brittany Thornton, Brittany Kirkland, and Kandace Moore who serve on the Technology Subcommittee. The award was presented to them for their professionalism, expertise, and volunteerism. These dynamic young ladies either attend college full time or have full time jobs while attending college. The Technology Committee was responsible for devising the Section’s website, email address, Facebook and Twitter accounts along with setting up the various Apps utilized for receiving payments. In addition, they have placed our theme Lift the Legacy on all our correspondence.
Councilwoman Beverly Mills was given the Outstanding Community Service Award for her historic preservation work in the community. Councilwoman Mills is also a member of the section and serve on the historic preservation committee. Councilwoman Mills is the first African American and African American female to serve on the Pennington Borough Council.
The President’s Award given at the Gala for the Mercer County Section for the Women of Excellence for 2017 went to Mrs. Lossie Whitaker Thornton, First Vice President and Chairperson of the Inaugural Gala 2017. It was under her leadership that the Induction Service and Gala became a success! After the induction service, Mercer County had five additional members join bringing their current membership up to 70. Their goal is still 100.
The Mercer County Section of NCNW came to fruition as a result of a simple invitation. The Reverend Naomi Myers a long standing member of the Roselle Section of NCNW invited The Rev. Dr. Angela M. Battle to an Annual Mother’s Day Scholarship Dinner in May of 2016. Dr. Battle was so impressed with the event and the youth participation she naturally wanted to join. Due to previous schedule conflicts, Dr. Battle wasn't able to join right away. However, Rev, Battle joined the Roselle Section in November of 2016 during the New Jersey State Tea Luncheon and Annual Membership Drive. As pastor of Bethel AME Church in Pennington, NJ, Dr. Battle definitely saw the need for this organization within the Pennington community.
After speaking with the State Convener, Olivia V. Smith, it was discussed initially to name this Section the Trenton Section; however it was later decided to name the Section: The Mercer County Section in order to reach a greater area and number of people. Next, Dr. Battle reached out to eleven other outstanding women to form the original Executive Team and after the Section was formed the President appointed three others and the full team as follows:
• Rev. Dr. Angela M. Battle, Chartering President
• Lossie Whitaker Thornton, First Vice President
• Tracy Heading, Second Vice President
• Corinne Thomas, Third Vice President
• Dr. Tabitha Bellamy-McKinley, Recording Secretary
• Tanya Taylor, Assistant Recording Secretary
• Katrina Moore, Corresponding Secretary
• Evelyn Kirkland, Financial Secretary
• Rev. Dr. Berlinda Hart Love, Treasurer
• Delia S. Chrismon-Diggs, Parliamentarian
• Kim Copeland, Chaplain
• Karen Thomas, Historian
• Tina Jalloh, Special Advocate & Chief Counselor
• Selena Stewart, Acting Assistant Recording Secretary
• Jeanette Battle, Senior Advisor
Dr. Battle scheduled two conference calls with the Executive Team. The first call was in November of 2016 and the second January of 2017. Dr. Bellamy-McKinley suggested having an area of interest meeting. Dr. Battle set the goal to have 100 women attend and they did. The area of interest meeting was on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The Mercer County Section had 54 members sign up on that day and they submitted for charter to the NCNW.
Out of those 54 members there were two partners The Rev. Dr. Angela M. Battle and Jean Covington; one advocate; two Life Members the Rev. Dr. Berlinda Hart Love and the Rev. Dr. Rev. Danielle Hunter. The State Convener Olivia V. Smith shared the history of the organization and answered questions.
With Dr. Battle as the chartering President she began putting together a plan of action to move forward. The Executive Team had its third conference call where Dr. Battle gave out detailed assignments pertaining to each officer’s role and responsibilities. In addition, Dr. Battle with the assistance of Dr. Bellamy-McKinley started reaching out to the membership for chairs and co-chairs for the standard sub committees based on their area of expertise and experience. The next meeting was scheduled for Saturday, February 18, 2017. The goal was to have the chairs and co-chairs for the standard sub committees in place and the first draft budget prepared.
As the excitement continued, the number continued to grow and the Section total went to 60 which included one member as a Leadership Circle Member (Selena Stewart) and another member (Ida Jackson Woods) as a Life Member.
At the February 18, 2017 meeting Dr. Battle presented Dr. Love with the notable $1.50 as a symbolic historic gesture, representing the amount founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, started with in 1935, along with her blessing for continued success. The next meeting was scheduled for Saturday, March 25, 2017. The goal was to have all the subcommittees and chairs and a draft budget to present and start annual local dues.
By June 3, 2017 the Section had 65 members and five Life Members. Two previously mentioned along with Lossie Whitaker Thornton, (1st Vice President) Katrina Moore, (Corresponding Secretary) and Mary Stevenson. The goal is still 100 members strong by December 30, 2017. At the Bethune Heights Luncheon on June 3, 2017, Rev. Dr. Battle was honored with the New Jersey National Council of Negro Women Outstanding Humanitarian Award for her work in section and in the community. In addition the Mercer County Section now had a total of five Life Members. Our Life Members are the Rev. Dr. Rev. Danielle Hunter, the Rev. Dr. Berlinda Hart Love, Lossie Whitaker Thornton, Katrina Moore and Mary Stevenson.
In addition to the above accomplishments Mercer County NCNW has had a fruitful membership and a promotion of section drive on Pennington Day spearheaded by Selena Steward. Mercer County had a Health Awareness Day in July which encompasses healthcare information, an AARP presentation and assisted living information as well as discussion of new laws and technology and their impact on the masses. This was a joint venture with First Baptist Church of Pennington, Second Baptist Church of Hopewell, Bethel AME Church, Top Ladies of Distinction and the NJ AME Women in Ministry. One of the goals of the Mercer County Section is the sharing of information, bringing the community together and also to have a powerful presence in the community.
Mercer County believes in supporting their Sisters in Council as they are like family. They helped honor Tina Jalloh, Esquire at The Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner for being Outstanding Volunteer for volunteering her legal services. The Mercer County Section members stood with Karen Thomas as she was honored for her outstanding humanitarian services.
In moving the legacy forward, the Mercer County Section has vowed to work diligently in Mercer County to unite the communities, cities, and churches in an effort to improve health care, education, historic preservation, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship for its women and families.
“It is no longer a dream, but a reality and we will flourish in it”, state President Rev. Dr. Angela M. Battle.
Mercer County Executive Officers
1. President - Rev. Dr. Angela M. Battle is the Pastor of Bethel AME Church, the author of “Unwrap Your Gift” and is a 20 year employee with NJ TRANSIT as Revenue Contract Administrator. Dr. Battle holds two Master’s one in Public Administration
2. First Vice President – Lossie Whitaker Thornton was elected to serve as the Vice-President and President of New Jersey Coalition of Educational Leaders (NJCEL). Currently, she serves on a Child Study Team in an urban district as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC). Lossie has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Seton Hall University and was recognized as a Distinguished Leader. Lossie holds two Masters Degrees one in Special Education and the second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. Currently, she is working on her doctorate degree.
3. Third Vice President – Corinne Thomas is a lifetime member of First Park Baptist Church in Plainfield, N.J. Corinne ministered to those in need through the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen. Corinne also was an active member of the Plainfield youth chapter of the NAACP, serving as the Vice President. At Rowan University she continued to display a strong desire to lead and serve others with her gifts and talents. She was a member of the Petey Greene Foundation and the Community Safety Association. Corinne graduated from Rowan University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice.
4. Recording Secretary - Dr. Tabitha Bellamy-McKinley attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where she served as president of the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel ushers and was an active member of the National Council of Negro Women, Howard Section. Dr. McKinley holds a Master of Arts in Biology Education and Master of Arts and PhD in Psychometrics. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Junior League and Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, where she is both a local and regional officer in the organization. Tabitha is employed by the New Jersey Department of Education where she manages national and international assessment programs for the state of New Jersey.
5. Financial Secretary - Evelyn Kirkland - Her professional affiliations include Executive Board Member and Treasurer of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. (Elizabeth Packers, Inc.), Primerica Financial Services, Assistant Coordinator and Team Lead for the Greeters Ministry at Agape Family Worship Center, and Member of the Black History Committee, Martin Luther King, Jr. Building, and Federal Courthouse located in Newark, NJ. Evelyn graduated from Seton Hall University where she received my Bachelor of Science in Biology. Currently, Evelyn holds the position of Management and Program Analyst at the United States Marshals Service.
6. Corresponding Secretary - Katrina Moore graduated from Morgan State University. She completed a Master’s in Special Education at New Jersey City University & began teaching children with special needs in the East Orange New Jersey Public Schools. After completing another graduate program at William Paterson University, Katrina changed gears and began serving on the Child Study Team as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC). She currently serves in an urban New Jersey school district working as a LDTC, and is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Pi Theta Omega Chapter. Katrina also serves on the executive board of The Eight Flames of Hope Foundation. She is a long time member of the Cathedral International, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey and is married to Mr. Eucles Moore.
7. Assistant Secretary - Tanya Taylor – is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN). She graduated from Concorde School of Hair in Bloomfield, New Jersey, as a licensed Beautician. She is a graduate of Berkeley College with an Associate Applied Science in Business Administration and concentration in Management. Tanya will be continuing her education with Southern New Hampshire University pursuing a B.S/M.S degree in Accounting. She is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Sorority, and has volunteered as a guest speaker for BMW NA WIN "Women's Interactive Network" seminar career presentation " Dress for Success''. She was inducted into the "Unsung Hero Breakfast" by the NJ Annual Conference Lay Organization and awarded for outstanding service in Kingdom Building. She is also a member of the National Association for The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
8. Treasurer - Rev. Dr. Berlinda Love has been inducted into three community organizations, including The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Incorporated, Pi Chapter; Top Ladies of Distinction, Trenton Chapter; and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Epsilon Xi Zeta Chapter. Her most recent honors are from the National Association of Professional Women as Professional Woman of the Year in Journalism; Stanford Who’s Who as Pinnacle Professional of the Year; and Social Book Global Who’s Who for having demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievement in her field. Dr. Love holds a Master of Arts Degree and Master of Divinity Degree, and an Honorary Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
9. Chaplain - Kim Copeland is currently the Executive Director of Jirevision, Inc. which is a family support service that was birthed in East Orange New Jersey 20 years ago. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Josiah’s Mission, which was a child care service that was established in a development called Winding Woods, for mothers with infants and children. In 2008, Kimberly became The Director of The Fraternal order of Loyal Christian Benefit Association (LCBA). Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sociology Degree from Long Island University.
10. Historian – Karen Thomas has been employed with NJ Transit for over 28 years. She currently works in the Procurement Department and serves as the Clerical Union Delegate for Local 819. Karen’s volunteer service has included; overseer for Plainfield NAACP Youth Group, American Cancer Society Hope Club, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, American Cancer Society Diamond Ball Committee, World Vision Volunteer/Fred Hammond Festival of Praise, President of the North Plainfield High School Field Hockey Booster Club. Karen is currently a member of the A Phillip Randolph Institute (civil rights and labor movement organization) and sits on the Board of Trustees for CASA Shaw - Court Appointed Special Advocate for Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties - a non-profit that helps place abused and neglected children into safe, loving permanent homes. Karen attended Rutgers University. Karen has completed certificate programs at Union County Vocational & Technical in Electrical Technology and New Brunswick Theology Seminary in Theology Studies. Karen is currently enrolled at Pillar College/Winning Women Transformation Leadership Program.
11. Parliamentarian – Delia S. Chrismon-Diggs is a registered nurse of 29 years, continuing her education at Rowan College and currently employed full-time as a Practice Consultant for Anthem, BC/BS. She is the mother of 6 children, married to Pastor Michael C. Diggs, Sr. and serves alongside her husband as First Lady of Second Calvary Baptist Church, Hopewell, New Jersey. Under the direction of Michael C. Diggs, Sr. and serves as President of Women’s Fellowship of Second Calvary Baptist Church and associate of Youth Ministry.