Ayari Antionne’ Windham (courtesy photo)

The Los Angeles Chapter Charitable Trust (LACCT) and The Los Angeles (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated launched their virtual Leadership Institute and 69th Cotillion Program on May 25.

According to President Lynne Hobbs,  “The pandemic is not going to cause us to disappoint our high school seniors who look forward to their debut, nor stop us from providing service.”

The organizations titled the program “ALIVE 2021,” an acronym for “A Leadership Institute Virtual Experience,” which embodied the message “Our Time Is Now-Stand Up” the theme song from the film “Harriet.

Blaire Taylor Washington (courtesy photo)

The organizations titled the program “ALIVE 2021,” an acronym for “A Leadership Institute Virtual Experience,” which embodied the message “Our Time Is Now-Stand Up” the theme song from the film “Harriet.

Music Conductor Susan Chatman arranged the song and Charlean Carmon performed it during the Cotillion broadcast.  ABC-7 New Anchor Leslie Sykes and Spectrum News’ Morning Anchor Melvin Robert were the hosts of the ALIVE 2021 broadcast.

Music Conductor Susan Chatman arranged the song and Charlean Carmon performed it during the Cotillion broadcast.  ABC-7 New Anchor Leslie Sykes and Spectrum News’ Morning Anchor Melvin Robert were the hosts of the ALIVE 2021 broadcast.

Evan Ariana Bowman (courtesy photo)

Seventeen young ladies from various Southern California high schools participated.  The Cotillionettes were Evan Ariana Bowman, daughter of Chrystal Evans Bowman and Blair Bowman;  Kennedy Bleu Briggs, daughter of Pamela Briggs and Philippe Briggs;  Journey LaVassa Carter, daughter of Dr. Holly Carter and Marcus Carter;  Jalyn Flowers, daughter of Erica Linn Flowers;  Laiyah Evelyn Grant, daughter of Che Grant and Douglas Grant; Kaitlyn Elizabeth Haley, daughter of Shannon Haley and Christopher Haley; Morgan Cassidy Hamilton, daughter of Charlene Powell Hamilton and Dr. Michael D. Hamilton;  Hannah Sophia Hughes, daughter of Raimarie Hughes and Dr. Brennan Hughes; and Lourdes Zipporah Jefferson, daughter of Zenobia Chaney-Jefferson and Rodney Jefferson.

Also, Morgan Brooke McIntosh, daughter of Maisha James-McIntosh and Bobby McIntosh;  Dakoata Beyonce Moore, daughter of Cynthia Josette Moore and Reginal Von Moore; Raegan Dakota Simone Moore, daughter of Keniya Moore and Pastor Jody Moore; Janai Doris-Willean Nicholson, daughter of Tajarah Nicholson and James Nicholson, Jr.; Kamea Chablis Nicolis, daughter of Dr. Karma Nicolis and Ernest Nicolas; Blaire Taylor Washington, daughter of Cheri Washington  and Bertral Washington; Ayari Antonne Windham, daughter of RoShaun Windham and Johnnie Windham; and Greer Helen Young, daughter of Courtney Young and Maurice Young.

Hannah Sophia Hughes (courtesy photo)
Janai Doris-William Nicholson (courtesy photo)







Alluding to the reimagined event, Dr. Lisa Nicholas, event co-chair, explained, “We had to do things a bit differently to keep everyone healthy and safe.  We are happy to report that we were successful in that regard.”

The adjustments reaped positive resulted such as guests, like civil rights icon Terrence Roberts, being able to converse with individual participants via Zoom. Also, the program featured a dance between the fathers and daughters.

Jalyn Rae Flowers (courtesy photo)

“We had to create a new approach to unseen circumstances considering the pandemic. We stepped up to the plate with boldness, creativity, and a desire to preserve excellence in our service to the community,” said Jacqueline Ryan, who co-chaired the event with Dr. Lisa Nicholas.

Ryan, the longest-standing member of the Los Angeles Chapter, has served 54 years and holds the title of Platinum Member.

Kaitlyn Elizabeth Haley (courtesy photo)

The Leadership Institute and Cotillion program was comprised of the signature Cotillionette Tea, Leadership Institute, Essay Writing Workshop, creation of the Souvenir Program Book, Dance Rehearsals, the Awards and Recognition Ceremony, Photography Session, and the Cotillion Presentation.

Carla Pittman and Nicole Hauge were the co-chairs of the virtual Cotillionette Tea.  All attendees wore beautiful tea hats and each Cotillionertte was gifted a tea pot.

The Leadership Institute, chaired by Denise Burnett, included workshops and relevant events, which included “A Conversation With Dr. Terrence Roberts,” one of the students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1957.  Dr. Kathryn Edwards and the Links Arts Facet prepared the Cotillionettes to ask questions of Dr. Roberts.

Kamea Chablis Nicolis (courtesy photo)

The Cotillionettes prepared a Community Service Project entitled “Keepin’ It Safe.”  Chaired by Lorna Little, the young ladies used social media messages and videos to demonstrate how the community can stay safe during the pandemic.

Lorenz Willis, dean and associate director of Verbum Dei High School’s Corporate Work Study Program, facilitated a Juneteenth celebration.

In July, Attorneys Kimberly Willis and Kimberly Toney, both Links members, outlined what to do/expect when encountering law enforcement during the “Do You Know Your Rights” workshop.

Kennedy Bleu Briggs (courtesy photo)

Monica DePriest, Marlborough School co-director of College Counseling, presented Essay Writing and Interviewing Skills.  She reviewed the writing essentials required for each Cotillionette’s college essay submissions, as well as discussed how to prepare for college interviews. LA Link Member Chair Kimberly Noble also led a writing seminar, guiding the Cotillionette on how to correctly write an essay for the volunteer community service essay submissions.

The International Foreign Empowerment Summit covered international business, international affairs and study abroad opportunities. The speakers were  Dr. Nina Harawa, director of Epidemiology at UCLA; Kamryn Walker, graduate student studying in France; Dr. LeJeune Lockett, director of International Affairs at Charles R. Drew University.

Laiyah Evelyn Grant (courtesy photo)

During “A Post Is Not A Ghost” session, Brandi Reddick, public relations/social media consultant, highlighted the do’s and don’ts of social media.

London Hester presented How to Manage Your Money In College; Hampton University Admission Counselor Kelly Roundtree conducted a HBCU workshop; and Taylor Blythewood, CAAM assistant curator, narrated a virtual tour of “Rites and Rituals.”

Human trafficking was covered by Ethics Commissioner Melinda Murray and Stephanie Powell, director of Law Enforcement Training and Survivor Services at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  Dr. Lori Hobbs and Dr. Lisa Nicholas focused on healthy lifestyles.

Lourdes Zipporah Jefferson (courtesy photo)

Kimberly Noble and Deborah Beavers Watford co-chaired the Awards Ceremony, which recognized the artistic talents and accomplishments of the Cotillionettes.  Traditional scholarships were awarded to Evan Bowman for Highest Grade Point Average, Hannah Hughes for Best Service Project Essay, and Morgan Hamilton for highest number of souvenir book submissions.

Sandra Wellington headed the Dance Rehearsal Committee and held rehearsals via Zoom. Choreographer Terrica Banks-Tillman and Mica Moch led participants through a dance routine on screen while the girls and their fathers watched.

Morgan Brooke McIntosh (courtesy photo)

Angela Robinson and Michele Robinson co-chaired the Photography Committee. Photographer Kerry James photographed each Cotillionette and her family in formal attire.

Souvenir Program Book Co-Chairs Sheila Hill and Kim Stewart created a commemorative journal reflecting the activities of the Cotillion.  Each Cotillionette received a book to celebrate her experience.

For 69 years, the Los Angeles Chapter has implemented strict rules governing how the dress should look and be worn.  Ramona Wilder and Carolyn Wilder chaired the Dress Inspection Committee.

Morgan Cassidy Hamilton (courtesy photo)

The 69th Cotillion presentation had the iconic backdrop of the Doheny Mansion’s Pompeian Room, built in 1899.  The location was generously donated by Mount St. Mary University.

Director Nandy McClean and the NM Productions crew provided filming and post-production of the presentation.

Phyllis Forneret, chair of Stage Décor and Decorations, designed the venue with a backdrop of lush yellow gladiolas that gave each young lady a rich setting. The film crew captured all the colors with finite clarity, and the cameras caught the distinct individuality of each young lady’s dress.

Raegan Dakota Moore (courtesy photo)

The essence and reverence for the Cotillion as a historical and community ritual has been preserved in this 69th presentation.  The presentation can be watched at this link:  https://vimeo.com/646615238.

“The Los Angeles Chapter gives a special thanks Katrina Schauble, Nedra Austin, Laurel Lightner, Kim Stewart; Sheila Hill,  and Linda McMurdock for their outstanding contributions to this event, “ said President Hobbs.

“We also thank Dr. Anitha Mitchell for funding the Leadership Institute and 69th Cotillion, as well as Mount St. Mary’s University for their generous contributions,” she added.

Hobbs expressed additional appreciation to Rick Carlos, Lula Washington Dance Theater, Heather Schraeder, Lei Wat, Kerry James Photography, Nandy Mcclean of NM Productions, Ryder’s Tuxedo, Rasheed Productions, Compubase Printing, Selwyn Jewelers.

[email protected], Catherine Hairbedian and the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Any families interested in having their high school daughters participate in the 70th Anniversary Cotillion for 2022, visit theLACCT.org.