Angela Heath, a local Washington, DC film producer, followed a group of girls over the course of their participation with the High Tea Society.
Click on the FILM to learn more about our girls and our Founder, Judge Mary Terrell.
Teaching Through Tea Since 1997
An extension of her passion of working with girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, Judge Mary Terrell (retired) founded the High Tea Society (HTS) in 1997. Since its inception, the organization has worked tirelessly for over a decade to mold the women leaders of the future, today.
As our name suggests, the High Tea Society also incorporates some of the traditions of the time-honored afternoon tea. Typically reserved for elite women, afternoon tea and tea houses in the African-American community have become a symbol of economic and social mobility for women in the upper echelons of society. We've adapted the poise, grace, and civility from the rituals of this hallowed event and connected them with service and dedication to the community at large -- with the goal of creating "Ambassadors of Civility." Our Ambassadors are the next generation of competent, self-assured women who will use their unique and considerable talents to further uplift their communities on a micro and macro scale.
The High Tea Society was never just a “dress-up and go-to-tea program.” The hats and gloves worn by the protégés at afternoon tea in an elegant setting serve as a backdrop for the academic program. As the novelty of afternoon tea wears away, it is replaced by greater self-confidence, positive attitudes, and lifestyle changes that demonstrate that these young ladies know who they are, where they are going, how they are going to get there and who can help.
The program incorporates social cognitive skill development, social deportment and other enrichment activities associated with afternoon tea that instill a sense of self-esteem and dignity. The ACCLI program prepares girls for the global community . Continuity of program from 4th grade to high school graduation, positive role models, active mentors, character development and exposure to life changing experiences – all lead to positive behavior changes. The High Tea Society serves up more than tea from a box, we teach through tea.