A “little Emory campus” in Washington
BY PAIGE P. PARVIN 96G
Last summer, the leadership of Washington, D.C., chapter of the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA) visited the National Museum of Women in the Arts to see an exhibition by Emory alumna and artist Amalia Amaki 92G 94G, “Boxes, Buttons and the Blues,” a collection of mixed-media creations that explored American culture's images and perceptions of black women and blues music.
Coincidentally, the director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Judy Larson, completed her Ph.D. at Emory in 1998; she and Amaki knew of each other while working on their graduate degrees. Amaki is assistant professor of black American studies and curator of the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University of Delaware.
That kind of Emory connection happens all the time in Washington, says Joy Clinkscales 97C, president of the CEBA chapter ; and networking is part of the organization's mission.
“You never know where your life is going to take you, and it's important to know people in different fields for your own self-growth,” she says. “There are so many Emory alumni in Washington, it's like a little Emory campus here.”
The D.C. chapter of the Association of Emory Alumni, led by Darcy Honker 90C, is one of the largest and most active in the country, with some 250 graduates living in the greater Washington area. And the CEBA sub-group is thriving under Clinkscales' leadership. She was one of the founders of the chapter and is now in her second year at the helm.
“I think members are surprised to see how many of us there are,” she says. “Our mission is a little different in the sense that we are an affinity group, so we try to cater to the concerns and needs of our particular membership. We spread the word about scholarships so that future students of color are able to attend Emory. And we have a couple of our own events a year.” Only the night before, she had joined about sixty fellow alumni for dinner at a hot new Latino restaurant co-owned by an Emory alum.
Clinkscales is an attorney for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, an arm of the Department of the Treasury that works directly with banks to facilitate affordable financial services, including credit and loans, for underprivileged consumers.
“Our role is to financially empower low-income Americans,” she says. “We're unique because we look at every financial institution or company the way you look at a company you might want to invest in.”
Clinkscales, who earned her law degree from American University in 2000, says Emory gave her a “very solid foundation” for understanding both the financial and legal fields—as well as a desire to help people.