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On this date in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America's first Greek-letter organization established by Black college women.
Alpha’s roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, MO, conceived the idea for the organization. She saw the sorority as an instrument for enriching social and intellectual college life by providing mental stimulation through interaction with friends and associates.
Through the years, however, Alpha Kappa Alpha's function has become more multifaceted. After incorporation as a sorority in in 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the guide through which selected college-trained women improved the socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world.
In a world in which materialism is pervasive and technology and competition have seemingly decreased the need for collaboration and cooperation, it is vital to have an association that cuts across racial, international, physical, and social barriers to help individuals and communities develop and maintain constructive relationships with others. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is that vital organization, a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this relationship as a means of self-fulfillment through volunteer service.
Alpha Kappa Alpha cultivates and encourages high scholastic and ethical standards; promotes unity and friendship among college women; alleviates problems concerning girls and women; maintains a progressive interest in college life; and serves all mankind through a nucleus of more than 150,000 women in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Candidacy for membership into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is open to women of high ethical and scholastic standards who are pursuing or have completed courses leading to a degree in an accredited college or university. Its official headquarters are in Chicago, IL.
Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York