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Posted under: Entertainment Culture

114 Years Of Being The Phirst And The Phinest: Alpha Kappa Alpha Celebrates Founder's Day

AKA members share what it means to be a part of the organization.

Pull out your Phinest salmon pink, apple green, and pearl necklaces, ladies! Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) celebrates 114 years today.

The international service organization was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Founders, Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgemon (Lyle), Lavinia Norman, Lucy Diggs Slowe and Marie Woolfolk (Taylor). The original nine made AKA the oldest Greek-letter organization created by African-American college-educated women.

The sorority was incorporated on January 29, 1913, with the help of Nellie Quander. The women combined their talents and strengths to benefit their community, turning it into 114 years of a divine legacy. Their sisterhood has fulfilled its original obligation to serve their community and "make them better" by becoming an impregnable force of positivity in their communities across the globe.

The organization is led by International President Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, with nearly 300,000 members and 1,037 chapters.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is often noted as "America's premier Greek-letter organization for African American women." With so many women a part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, BlavityU spoke with members of the organization in honor of 114 years. These beautiful sorors express their pride and love in celebrating their founder's day.

How would you describe an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman?

20-year-old Dejah Grant, from Prince George's County, Maryland, is an Alpha Kappa Alpha following behind her older sister Delnorah, and their mother, De Borah Grant. Two legacies in one household, the Grants know what it takes to be an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman. 

"I would describe an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman as poised and purposeful," Dejah Grant said. She walks with grace and understands that her presence is known. She is purposeful with service. Our purpose of to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards to promote unity and friendship among college women and to study and alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature and maintain a progressive interest in college life and be of "Service to All Mankind." 

What does 114 years of AKA mean to you?
Autumn Brown, 27, a New Jersey native expresses her admiration of the organization's legacy and personal commitment to Alpha Kappa Alpha as it celebrates 114 years.  

"114 years of Alpha Kappa Alpha demonstrates the continuity of service that my organization has built its reputation on.  114 years is evidence of the organization’s rich traditions and founding principles that serve our global community through initiatives in the areas of scholarship, mentorship, social awareness, social justice, economic development, healthcare awareness, and general wellness. 114 years is proof that our members still pledge a lifelong commitment to transforming our communities through service," Brown said.

How do you stay true to the motto, “By culture, by merit”?

From Prince George's County, Maryland, De Borah Grant is the Queen of her castle, leading her daughters into the Divine9 kingdom. Ms.Grant shares her sentiments on what the organization's motto means to her and her family.

"Like my mother always says, 'if you fall for anything, you stand for nothing,' so the motto to me means, fight for what's right by keeping the core values of the sorority. I embody our motto by making sure every time I walk out the door that I the image of our founders," De Borah Grant said. 

Being a sisterhood, how has AKA poured into other Black women around you or vice versa?

Alpha Kappa Alpha pours into its community through its daily initiatives and community outreaches. Delnorah Grant has seen firsthand how the sisterhood of AKA has positively impacted her. 

@dellynosandwich HAPPY FOUNDERS’ DAY AKA 💕💚💕 #ThisOrThat #j15 #foundersdayball #D9 #AKA #alphakappaalpha💕💚 #mommyanddaughter ♬ It's Tricky - RUN DMC

"I live for women's empower. I make it my duty to continue to lend a helping hand wherever needed, whether they are my line sisters, chapter members, or even a member I meet on social media," Delnorah Grant said. "I value pouring into other women mentally, physically, and emotionally, reminding them they are of value and can do and be anything they put their mind to. In reverse, I have had sorority sisters mentor me, provide me with jobs and even introduce me to opportunities that will put me closer to my career." 

What attracted you to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha?

Townson University alum, Delnorah Grant, is a part of two legacies. The 24-year-old shares why she made the undeniable decision to commit to the legendary organization.  

@dellynosandwich The legacy Kontinues 💕💚 #akatiktok #merrychristmas #tistheseason #fyp #GEICOGiveHappy #highschool #d9 ♬ original sound - Nicki Minaj
"The women of AKA attracted me to the phenomenal organization. Having been around them with the privilege of my mother being a member, these women carried themselves with so much poise and grace. On top of how they carry themselves, who wouldn’t want to be a part of something so great and known for being the FIRST in many historical events. I made sure I did my research of all D9 sororities and Alpha Kappa Alpha stood out as being monumental and making a difference in this world while still carrying themselves in a polished manner. I love it," Delnorah Grant said.

What is the most rewarding part of being a member of AKA?

22-year-old Terin Hyman is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Recently graduating from Montclair State University in New Jersey, Hyman "wouldn't trade" her decision to become one.

@terinofficial if she doesn’t raise her pinky, raise your standards. #fyp #fypシ #J15 #1908 #aka #comesecondtonone #thepinkprint ♬ Freakumdresschallenge - b.beyonce

"What's not rewarding about being a lifelong member of the Phirst and the Phinest? Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is an extension of my two bloodline sisters, Tori and Tristan, with whom I share such a genuine, loving, loyal, respectful, uplifting, fun, and blessed bond," Hyman said. "My organization is worldwide, and I am so thankful and blessed that I have an overflow of genuine sisters from the Ravishing Rho Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and other sisters from numerous chapters worldwide."

"There are so many positive attributes, such as genuine sisterhood, unity, respect for one another, encouragement, support, networking, service, and fun memories that are a given with being a part of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated," She continued. "I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I am a PROUD member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated." 

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