|young people in this community," Buckhanan said.
While the 100th birthday doesn't officially start until next year, the AKAs began to celebrate this year at their ten regional conventions. They also have a traveling exhibit that was recently in Milwaukee that documents the history of the AKAs.
And on January 15, 2008, the countdown begins. "We will kick-off our 100th birthday celebration in Washington, D.C. on the campus of Howard University," Buckhanan said. We're expecting 3,000-4,000 of our members to join us there just to start the year off. And then we'll move from there to the big celebration in July back in Washington at Howard University."
As a part of the celebration, the AKAs honored one of their own who has been "Making a Difference" in the Wisconsin State Senate, State Senator Lena Taylor.
Look to seeing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to be making more of a difference in the Madison area as a part of their 100th birthday celebration.
|Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's 99th Founder's Day Luncheon
Service to All Mankind
By Jonathan Gramling
| Even though the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) the nation's oldest African American service sorority -- turns 100 next year, it';s hardly showing its age. With a membership of 180,000 --50,000 of them are active -- and nearly 1,000 chapters around the world, the AKAs are acting like they are "spring chickens." Perhaps it has something to do with the solid foundation that has been laid.
"At that time, there were 16 young ladies, one generation removed from slavery," said Dorothy Buckhanan, national secretary for the AKAs who was in Madison Ma6 for the Kappa Psi Omega Chapter's 99th Founders Day Celebration. They were students at Howard University. Back in 1908, you didn't have a whole lot of students in college of any persuasion and there weren't a whole lot of women in college. They came together because they were concerned about making a difference and the betterment of mankind."
While the AKAs have a number of service areas including education, health and the Black family in the service program area they call ESP for Extraordinary Service Program, it recently began to focus on a new area: economic empowerment. "Ms. Barbara McKinzie, our new national president, and the national board believe that the key to upward mobility for people of color in this country, quite honestly, will be through economic development and entrepreneurship and investing in ourselves and our communities," Buchhanan said. "When you're talking about an economic focus, there are a lot of areas you can go into. Technology is a real high priority for us right now. We just kicked off a technology project with eight college campuses with really focusing the undergraduates on the importance of technology and more importantly, training them to go out to the broader community and expose the citizens to all of the wonderful aspects of technology and how it can be used to change their lives.'
And the activism on the national level goes straight to the local level. "We challenge the local chapter to do even more, take on even more stuff considering all the issues that are facing us and most importantly, the