Tony J. Dickerson, Founder and President, 2018
Dr. Tony Jean Dickerson is the Founder and President of the Akoma Ntoso Modern Quilt Guild of Central Indiana. Tony began sewing at the young age of 6yrs old receiving her first sewing machine for Christmas that year. She is a product of Home Economics, 4H and a family’s love for sewing. She is a graduate of John Marshall High School, but moved to Missouri after graduation and pursued a degree in education from Lincoln University in Jefferson City. After 31 years in various levels of education in the Kansas City, Missouri area, Tony Jean moved with her mother back to Indianapolis, IN the summer of 2017.
Even while pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from Kansas University, Tony Jean longed for the comradery of fellow creatives that a quilting guild brings. When she found that the only guild specifically targeted to persons of color was some 126 miles away in Fort Wayne, IN, she enlisted family and friends and start one! Incorporated April 7, 2018, Dickerson envisioned Akoma Ntoso as an avenue to get family, friends and community members hooked on the beauty of quilting, the power of socialization, and the satisfaction of self expression.
While she does utilitarian quilts for family and friends, she has also joined in the quilting community’s efforts to use quilts to honor our political, social and literary heritage. She has shown quilts at the National African American Quilt Convention in Lawrence, KS, Brown v Board of Topeka Museum in Topeka, KS, and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. Some of these themes were to honor Zora Neale Hurston, Tarana Burke (Me, Too Founder), and her family ancestors. Her latest venture involved preparing her guild for an exhibit of African fabrics and Adinkra-inspired quilts at the Center for Black Literature & Culture of the Indianapolis Public Library. This 3 month exhibition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and is set to be rescheduled for the spring of 2021.
Verna Moore, Founding Member 2018; Treasurer, 2020
Verna Moore was born in Bowling Green, KY, and moved to Indianapolis, IN,
where she attended high school and college. After college she was employed by
the Indianapolis Public School System and served as an Elementary Administrator, Middle School Administrator and teacher for 34 wonderful years. She attends City of Hope Community Church where she enjoys serving in the Children’s Ministry, Choir, and the Community Out Reach Programs. She became a founding member of the Akoma Ntoso Modern Quilt Guild of Central Indiana in 2018. Verna has also shown her work along with her guild members at the 2019 Women’s History Month Exhibition “Strength, Courage and Dignity” at St. Luke Methodist Church in Indianapolis, IN.
Melody Tharpe, Secretary, 2020
A native of Indiana, Melody Tharpe was born and raised in Indianapolis. Melody is a 1994 Purdue University graduate who has a passion for reading and travel. A dedicated educator with life and job experience outside of the education sector, she is now seeking a variety of avenues for creative exploration and expression. She challenges everyone to come along for the learning!
Kita Blount Duncan, Founding Charity Program Coordinator, 2018
Kita Duncan was born and raised in Brooksville, Florida. She graduated from Arlington High School here in Indianapolis and is currently pursuing her RN degree in a very rigorous program at Brightwood College. She is the mother of two teenagers and a preteen. Her interest in giving back to charity goes back for more than a decade. Her background is in dementia care for the elderly, and she regularly participates in activities for Alzheimers and Lupus awareness. She can’t wait to bring quality charitable activities to our guild. Kita has shown her work along with her guild members at the 2019 Women’s History Month Exhibition “Strength, Courage and Dignity” at St. Luke Methodist Church in Indianapolis, IN.
Alnita Renee Lee, Founding Block-of-the-Month Coordinator, 2018
Alnita R. Lee was born and raised here in Indianapolis, IN. She is however, a graduate of Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned her Associate’s Degree from Indiana Business College here in Indianapolis and continues her career in the healthcare field. Nita, as she is affectionately called by family, has gone “all in” and has created a sewing room in the lower level of her home. She has shown her work along with her guild members at the 2019 Women’s History Month Exhibition “Strength, Courage and Dignity” at St. Luke Methodist Church in Indianapolis, IN.
Mira Jean Duncan, Founding Youth Ambassador, 2018
At just 14 years old, Mira received her first sewing machine and took her first sewing lesson at the tender age of 8! She attends Lighthouse Charter School South here in Indianapolis and is an active member is school activities. She has begun to grow an impressive stash of fabrics and can’t wait to help our guild bring quality programming to our young members from across the metropolitan area! Mira has shown her work along with her guild members at the 2019 Women’s History Month Exhibition “Strength, Courage and Dignity” at St. Luke Methodist Church in Indianapolis, IN.
Former Board Members
Vanita Ann Powell, 2018 – 2019, Founding Treasurer; Deceased February 2019
Vickie Ann Parham, 2018 – 2020, Founding Secretary