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Alpha Kappa Alpha (ΑΚΑ) is the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African American college women. The sorority was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by a group of nine students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. 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 29, 1913.
Consisting of college-educated women of many diverse backgrounds from around the world, including, but not limited to, African, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, Hispanic and Indian descent, the sorority serves through a membership of more than 250,000 women in over 900 chapters in the United States and several other countries. Women may join through undergraduate chapters at a college or university. They may also join through a graduate chapter in one of two ways: ten years after acquiring an undergraduate degree or immediately after earning an advanced college degree.
After the organization's establishment over a century ago, 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 Carolyn House Stewart, and the sorority's document and pictorial archives are located at Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
information provided by Wikipedia.com