Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Sponsors ‘Heart and Soul’ Tribute to Oakland Civic Pioneers

Mary Ellen Butler

On Sunday May 19, East Bay journalist Mary Ellen Butler will describe the love letters shared by her parents who became civic leaders in Oakland during and after World War II. The letters are highlighted in Butler’s new book, “Heart and Soul: The Remarkable Courtship and Marriage of Josh and Virginia Craft Rose.”

“Heart & Soul with OUO,” will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill. The event is a fundraiser sponsored by Omega Upsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and proceeds will benefit educational and community service programs sponsored by the international sorority.

Upon settling in Oakland in 1939, Josh and Virginia helped break color barriers to civic life. Virginia was one of the earliest African American teachers hired by the Oakland Unified School District. Josh became the first African American on the Oakland City Council.

Tickets to “Heart & Soul with OUO” will cost $70 and include Spoken Word by local high school students, a chicken-and-rib dinner, dessert, and a copy of the book signed by the author. For further information go to For tickets go to


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