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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thousands of members of the southeast region of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated will flood into Memphis next week for their annual conference.

Mitzi Dease Paige is gearing up to lead almost 6,000 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated into Memphis for the sorority’s South East Regional Conference at the new Renasant Convention Center.

“You can expect to see a sea of pink and green invade the bluff city,” Paige said. “We are so thrilled to be able to come to Memphis.”

Paige also said that this is the first time the sorority will meet in person in two years, with last year’s Conference completely virtual.

Tourism official Kevin Kane said it is the largest pure convention that Memphis has had since 2018.

“This is demonstrating that we are coming out of the COVID era,” Kane said. “Groups are starting to meet, conventions are starting to meet.”

As Region Director, Paige is also focused on COVID safety from testing to proof of vaccination and masking for attendees.

“We want to try to create as much of a bubble, if you will, as we can for our members so that the members know that when they are there, they’re safe,” Paige said.

The host hotel, the Sheraton, is also preparing for the convention. Renasant Convention Center General Manager Dean Dennie said they are including extra staffing.

“They are actually bringing in staffing from areas as far away as Little Rock to have enough staffing here to accommodate this,” Dennis said.

While in Memphis, AKA members will also focus on community service, including donating pajamas to children in local hospitals.

“The fact that they are coming and the fact that this is a record-breaking conference for the southeastern region is historic,” Paige said.

The AKA Regional Convention is made up of members from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. The convention will run March 1-6.