Sorority Spotlight: Alpha Kappa Alpha Celebrates 109th Founders’ Day as Local Chapter Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Sorority, Incorporated’s (AKA) International President Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, L.H.D., spoke at the City Club of Cleveland, on January 13, 2017, moderated by Margot James Copeland, Chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation.

The sorority was celebrating its 109th Founders Day. Founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University, Washington, D.C., as the first African American sorority, Wilson emphasized Alpha Kappa Alpha’s long-term dedication to philanthropy and service to the community.

She highlighted contributions of African American women to U.S. society via books and stories, citing as an example the popular film, HIDDEN FIGURES, in which all three main characters belonged to AKA. “There are stories, she added, that have not yet been told. We work as volunteers and can see where we and other women are making an impact.”

“When we leave college, we embark upon a lifelong commitment,” Wilson stated. “The day we go in [to AKA] we are told that after graduating, sorority members go into graduate chapters. We’re told that we can make an impact that maybe our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have a chance to do.”

With more than 290,000 members and 1,005 local chapters, AKA states its mission as education and service to communities. Wherever conventions and anniversaries are held, Wilson said, service efforts are presented. At its convention in Atlanta, for example, a children’s playground complete with equipment was installed as part of its AKA 1908 Playground Project.

Ms. Wilson noted that while in town, she would participate in Case Western Reserve University’s Centennial Celebration of AKA. More than 300 members, including some attending the City Club venue, would gather to celebrate 100 years of service to Cleveland

– Submitted by Pat Magee-Nemetz, Alpha Gamma Delta