Alpha Kappa Alpha is on a mission to turn the Bay Area pink and green.
By shades Magazine staff
A fan of the colors pink and green?
If so, you’ll get to see plenty of both beginning this weekend, when more than 10,000 women – and some men – converge on the city and county of San Francisco this upcoming week for the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. 65th Boulé – Gateway to Global Leadership Through Timeless Service.
“We expect to leave quite an impact on the city through the various activities we will host, discussions we will provoke and solutions and strategies that will come out of our summits,” said Carolyn House Stewart, who is AKA’s international president and will preside over the biennial conference. “We will also honor those whose missions and commitment to service mirror our 104-year mission.”
Founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women. The organization boasts 260,000 members in graduate and undergraduate chapters in the U.S., as well as the U. S. Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, Korea and on the continent of Africa.
It’s mission is 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,” according to its website. In line with the sorority’s mission, members will donate school supplies to Bay Area social service agencies.
This year’s conference is the second time in the sorority’s 104-year history that the convention is being held in San Francisco; the first conference was held in 1955 at the Fairmont Hotel. Spokeswoman Melody McDowell said the event will highlight programs that parallel the theme of the AKA’s current administration: Global Leadership Through Timeless Service.
On Sunday – from 1:30 to 3 p.m., the sorority will host a Town Hall to discuss issues that impact the black community. Other highlights this week, some of which also are open to the public include:
Opening “Unsung AKA Women of the Civil Rights Movement” Museum
3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 22
Free and open to the public
This museum that will feature hundreds from the sorority who fought to achieve racial equality, but were unsung. The multimedia exhibit will profile the period from 1908 to the present and highlight the marches, protests and the rationale as to why the crusade continues. Memorabilia, artifacts and oral histories will be featured; the Rev. Dr. Bernice King, daughter of the late Martin and Coretta Scott King, will attend the opening.
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22
Free and open to the public
Awards will be given out to luminaries from various fields. Among the honorees are NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, Harry E. Johnson Sr., (led successful to get King Memorial mounted on the Mall) and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, July 22-25
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer disproportionately affect the African American community. Representatives from the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Kidney Fund, National Marrow Donor Program and Environmental Protection Agency will present information, tools and resources on how to combat these diseases. Attorney and TV commentator Star Jones will represent the American Heart Association. Cooks and fitness experts will also be in the village offering fitness tips and wellness strategies.
3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 25
A panel of financial gurus will share stealth strategies, solutions and proven results on how to survive and thrive during the recession. The panel will be led by San Francisco Deputy Chief of Staff Paul Henderson and will include actor/financial author Hill Harper and representatives from the nation’s major financial institutions.
10 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 26
AKA and the city of San Francisco will host 200 youth in provocative discussions on issues that challenge young people. Keynote speaker is former college football star Inky Johnson whose plans to go pro were cut short with a life-changing tackle that partially paralyzed him.
For more information visit aka1908.com.