The Herstory of
Alpha Kappa Alpha
In 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became America’s first Greek-letter organization established by Black college women. Her roots date back to Howard University, Washington, D.C., where the idea for formation was conceived by Ethel Hedgemon Lyle of St. Louis, Missouri. She viewed the sorority as an instrument for enriching the social and intellectual aspects of college life by providing mental stimulation through interaction with friends and associates. Through the years, however, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s function has become more complex.
After her incorporation as a perpetual body, led by Nellie Quander, on January 29, 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the channel 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 decreased the need for collaboration and cooperation, it is critical 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.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this affiliation 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-educated women; alleviates problems concerning girls and women; maintains a progressive interest in college life; and serves all mankind with the support and commitment of more than 325,000 women in 12 countries, including the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Japan, Liberia, Nigeria, South Korea, South Africa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.