January 15th, 1908 – Alpha Kappa Alpha

Today-In-History

Alpha Kappa Alpha (ΑΚΑ) was the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African-American college women. Membership is primarily for college educated women, but not all members have attended college. The sorority was founded on January 15th, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by a group of twenty students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle.

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Forming a sorority broke barriers for African-American women in areas where little power or authority existed due to a lack of opportunities for minorities and women in the early 20th century. Alpha Kappa Alpha was incorporated on January 29th, 1913.

Consisting of college-educated women of many diverse backgrounds from around the world, including African, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, Hispanic and Indian descent, the sorority serves through a membership of more than 283,000 women in 992 chapters in the United States and several other countries. Women may join through undergraduate chapters at a college or university or they may also join through a graduate chapter after acquiring an undergraduate or advanced college degree.

Ladies Victorian DressesAfter the organization’s establishment, Alpha Kappa Alpha has helped to improve social and economic conditions through community service programs. Members have improved education through independent initiatives, contributed to community-building by creating programs and associations, such as the Mississippi Health Clinic, and influenced federal legislation by Congressional lobbying through the National Non-Partisan Lobby on Civil and Democratic Rights. The sorority works with communities through service initiatives and progressive programs relating to education, family, health, and business.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). The current International President is Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, and the sorority’s document and pictorial archives are located at Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.

“Today in History” on The Pandora Society dot com is primarily focused on Victorian and Edwardian history and does not always have a direct connection to Steampunk, Dieselpunk, or whatever punk; in fact it rarely does, but it is our hope that in sharing these historical events they might serve as some inspiration to the writers in our community to create potential alternative history stories which we look forward to reading 🙂


 

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