International History

International HistoryAlpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., established at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in January 1908, is the oldest national Greek letter sorority for and by black women. Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, whose ideals were to carve, inspire, and engage college women in service to mankind, was the indomitable spirit in establishing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Over a period of nine decades, Alpha Kappa Alpha has grown from one small undergraduate group to an international, interracial organization with an active membership of more than 150,000 members. Graduate and undergraduate chapters are located in over 550 U. S. cities plus nine cities in the International Region.

Since its incorporation in 1913, mankind has benefited from numerous Alpha Kappa Alpha programs. Some have been so successful that they are now hallmarks. Such programs include the Mississippi Health Project launched in 1935 and the Cleveland Job Corps Center opened in 1965. Our own chapter member Mary M. Chambers, past International First Vice President, lead the committee that planned and initiated the Cleveland Job Corps Center. Mrs. Chambers served one and one-half years as the first director of the Center in Cleveland.

Alpha Kappa Alpha has adopted as its current international program theme EXEMPLIFYING EXCELLENCE THROUGH SUSTAINABLE SERVICE. The program targets are HBCU 4 Life: A Call to Action, Women's Healthcare and Wellness, Building Your Economic Legacy, The Arts!, and Global Impact. This program theme will be Alpha Kappa Alpha's focus until the end of 2022.