Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ®

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,  Incorporated ®, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by black college women in America, was founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. The ideal was conceived by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle who 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.”  The small group of women who organized the Sorority was conscious of a privileged position as college-trained women of color, just one generation removed from slavery. They were resolute that their college experiences should be as meaningful and productive as possible. Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded to apply that determination; however, its influence extends beyond campus quads and student interest. It has a legacy of service that deepens, rather than ends, with college graduation.

The Founders

Norma Elizabeth Boyd  *  Lillie E. Burke  *  Ethel Hedgeman Lyle  * Lucy Diggs Slowe  *  Lavinia Norman  *  Marjorie Hill  *  Alice P. Murray  *  Carrie Snowden *  Sarah Meriwether Nutter  *  Marie Woolfolk Taylor  *  Anna Easter Brown  *  Ethel Jones Mowbray  *  Joanna Mary Berry Shields  *  Beulah Elizabeth Burke  *  Margaret Flagg Holmes  *  Harriet Josephine Terry

The goals of its program activities center on significant issues in families, communities, government halls and world assembly chambers. Its efforts constitute a priceless part of the global experience in the 21st century.

Since its founding over a century ago, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s mission has been to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be of “Service to All Mankind.”

International Program

The International Program initiatives for 2022-2026 is Soaring to Greater Heights of Service & Sisterhood.

The program initiatives embrace six specific targeted areas:

For more information about our international platform, visit our international website at