SOURCE: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc

May 05, 2008 10:00 ET

Alpha Kappa Alpha to Hold Centennial Convention July 11-18

Over 20,000 Members to Assemble at Nation's Capital for Historic Gathering

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - More than 20,000 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will converge upon Washington, D.C. from July 11-18 for its Centennial international convention. International President, Barbara A. McKinzie, will preside over the weeklong event, which is being billed as a celebration of 100 years of sisterhood and service.

The biennial convention, which will be held at the Washington Convention Center, represents the culmination of a journey that began on January 15, 1908 when nine visionary women at Howard University founded the organization -- making it the first sorority of college-educated primarily African-American women. Alpha Kappa Alpha has evolved into one of the world's leading service organizations with 200,000 members in 975 chapters worldwide.

The weeklong celebration will be driven by the theme: "Centennial Commitment to Leadership." This is in recognition of the current administration's focus on leadership, which is embraced by the ESP theme -- Economics, Service and Partnerships -- the programmatic focus of McKinzie's administration.

The Sorority will host town hall society forums on entrepreneurship, wealth building and homeownership, voter registration and voter education, health, service, bridging the generational gap and the importance of emotional empowerment.

Other highlights of the convention include:

--  ESP Walk for Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Health - Members will
    walk 1908 steps to the Convention Center as a show of their commitment to
    raise awareness about the importance of staying fit for health's sake
--  Induction of the following five outstanding women into the Sorority as
    Honorary members:
    Dr. Zoanne Clack - MD, writer and medical consultant for the popular
    TV show, "Grey's Anatomy"
    Deborah S. Coleman - Executive Vice President and Chief Operating
    Officer of the National Urban League
    Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai* - Environmental and political activist from
    Kenya and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for
    "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"
    C. Vivian Stringer - Rutgers University Women's Head Basketball Coach
    Carol H. Williams - Founder, CEO, President and Chief Creative Officer
    of the Carol H. Williams Advertising Agency
    *Dr. Maathai is unable to attend the convention so a delegation of
    Alpha Kappa Alpha members will journey to Kenya to perform the
    induction ceremony.
--  Public meeting
--  Presentation of awards to local leaders
--  Unveiling of the Mattel Alpha Kappa Alpha Barbie Doll
--  Performance by Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle

The high point of the convention will be a Unity March where 30,000 members from the nine predominantly Black Greek fraternities and sororities will link arms as a unified force and march to the Capitol to advance their united agenda. The marchers, all members of the Pan Hellenic Council, will send a "powerful message" to the outgoing administration and a declaration to the next U.S. president about important issues of their constituencies. For more information, log on to For an archive of press releases, visit the online pressroom at

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