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Juanita Morris, a business owner who lost her fashion boutique to fire during the Ferguson protests is set to reopen her new store with support from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity who on Tuesday night donated $20,000 to help with rebuilding.

“I know there’s a god up there,” Morris told KPLR 11  a local news stationg.  “There’s more good in the world than there is evil.”

Phi Beta Sigma’s local chapter president made a commitment to help immediately after the November unrest to help restore the community.

“She should have the right to rebuild and grow,” said Robert T. Jordan, Jr who also noted that the chapter’s work to rebuild the community is not finished.

Juanita’s Fashions R Boutique is located at 11833 New Halls Ferry Rd.  She plans on opening the new store the weekend of October 2nd and 3rd.

We at WatchTheYard.com would like to commend these bothers for their work in the community. If you support what they are doing please share this article on Facebook to spread the word.

[Photo Cred: Jeff Bernthal]

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AKAs

These AKAs Celebrated Their 25th Line Anniversary in Costa Rica and Gave Back To The Community at the Same Time

International line and chapter trips are becoming a big trend in Black greekdom but these women of Alpha Kappa Alpha are doing something that a lot of other trips are missing — community service.

The ladies of who were initiated through Gamma Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at Tuskegee University in the Spring of 1992 recently celebrated their 25th AKAversary in Costa Rica.

Twenty-two of their 34 line sisters were able to make the trip and while they got to experience the Pura Vida and do an AMAZING line photoshoot, they also kept up their sorority’s mission and gave back to the community where they were having fun.

The ladies showed up at a local library and dropped off school supplies and books for kids.

“We always take time to celebrate each other and do our part to improve the community where celebrate,” LaTarsha Mills-McKie told Watch The Yard.

This may be a small act but it means a lot and is something that every Black fraternity and sorority line, chapter or group of brothers/sisters should do when they travel or road trip — show up with something in hand to improve the community.

Share this on Facebook if you agree that more chapters and lines should do things like this when they travel.

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Service

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Named Presenting Sponsor of the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Named Presenting Sponsor of 2017 FINA World Junior Championships
The following is from a press release issued by the sorority.

 INDIANAPOLIS – With just under 100 days to go until the world’s top 18-and-under swimmers open competition in Indianapolis, USA Swimming is pleased to announce the event’s presenting sponsor and officially kick off ticket sales for the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, presented by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Hosted by USA Swimming and United States Aquatic Sports, the event will be held at the iconic Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI from Aug. 23-28, and all-session, single-day and single-session tickets are on sale now at usaswimming.org. Single-session tickets start at $10 for children (12 and under) and $15 for adults.

Longtime USA Swimming partner Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. will serve as the presenting sponsor of the event, which will feature an early look at young athletes who will vie for positions on their respective nations’ Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 rosters.

“We are honored to welcome Sigma Gamma Rho on board as the presenting sponsor of this prestigious event,” said Mike Unger, USA Swimming’s Interim CEO. “USA Swimming is excited about expanding our Swim 1922 partnership with the Sorority through this event, and its commitment will help ensure a world-class competition in Indianapolis. Our organizing committee is hard at work putting together what will be a spectacular week for athletes and spectators.”

Swim 1922 is the partnership between USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. created to increase participation in the sport and minimize drowning rates within the African-American community by engaging local communities with swimming programming. Founded in 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Sigma Gamma Rho is an African-American Sorority whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for women and their families globally through community service, civil, and social action. Last year, they hosted 100 swimming events nationwide, logged in over 1,000 hours of community service hours related to swimming, with 2,500 swim lessons completed and 500,000 laps swam.

“We are honored to expand our five-year partnership with USA Swimming to include the exclusive sponsorship of the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships. As the only non-profit sorority involved in this world-class event, we look forward to helping USA Swimming and FINA bring attention to the benefits of swimming to increase participation and to decrease drowning rates around the world,” said Deborah Catchings-Smith, international president of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority.

Open to female athletes aged 14-17 and male competitors aged 15-18, the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, presented by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. will be the sixth edition of the prestigious competition which was first held in 2006 in Rio de Janeiro and hosted in 2015 in Singapore. Nearly 1,000 athletes from more than 100 countries are expected to compete in the six-day meet. Past competitors at the FINA World Junior Championships include Team USA Olympic medalists Ryan Murphy, Simone Manuel, Chase Kalisz, Josh Prenot and Kathleen Baker.

The United States entries will be selected based on the results of the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships, also slated for the Indiana University Natatorium from June 27-July 1. In 2017, 18 Americans have posted 26 world top-10 swims among 18-and-under athletes.

The historic Indiana University Natatorium has been host to some of the biggest swimming competitions contested, including U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Phillips 66 National Championships, Duel in the Pool, arena Pro Swim Series, NCAA Championships and the annual Indiana State High School Association Championships.

The last time the United States hosted a FINA World Championships competition was also in Indianapolis with the 2004 World Championships (25m) at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

About FINA
The Fédération Internationale de Natation, founded in 1908, is the governing body for aquatics worldwide. FINA’s five discipline Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming – are all included in the Olympic programme. High Diving made its first appearance in FINA events at the 2013 FINA World Championships. FINA counts 207 affiliated National Federations on the five continents and has its headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).

About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.

About Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Seven educators founded Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. on November 12, 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. The sorority has more than 500 chapters in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Korea and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the mission of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. to enhance the quality of life for women and their families in the U.S. and globally through community service, civil, and social action. Our goal is to achieve greater progress in the areas of education, health awareness, and leadership development. Our members, affiliates, staff, and community partners work to create and support initiatives that align with our vision.

#FINAWorldJrsIndy

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AKAs

The AKAs in Dekalb County, Georgia Are Shooting Service Recap Videos, Something Every Alumnae Chapter Should Consider Adopting

The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha in Dekalb County, Georgia DO NOT PLAY when it comes to service.

We at Watch The Yard recently came across a video that the Lambda Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., created to highlight the work that they were doing in the metropolitan Atlanta area and we thought to ourselves, “Why don’t more Black fraternity and sorority alumni and alumnae chapters do this?”

The video that they shot highlights the work they have done over the previous months and keeps the sorority’s friends, family and supporters aware of the work that the women of AKA are doing. It is short, well put together, personable and informative.

Watch the video below and show it to your alumnae chapter as an example of something they adopt.

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