Chicago, Illinois - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority begins it second century of sisterhood and service when 10,000 members converge upon the St. Louis Convention Center in St. Louis, Missouri from July 9-16 for its first conference in its second centennial. International President Barbara A. McKinzie will preside over the weeklong event, whose theme is: “Second Time Around.” - ##### - Contact: Melody McDowell
A bevy of luminaries from various industries are expected to attend, participate and be honored at the conference. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, president of Liberia and a member of the Sorority is among the high-profile leaders who will attend. She will receive the International Service Award, the Sorority's most prestigious honor. The Sorority will also announce a major economic development initiative aimed at promoting global economic development for women.
Paralleling McKinzie's focus on economics, the Sorority will host town hall forums on entrepreneurship, wealth building and homeownership -- the cornerstone of AKA's ESP program, which stands for Economics Service and Partnership. Alpha Kappa Alpha will also engage members in dialogues on issues that impact members and the communities they serve. Topics that will be covered include voter registration and education, health, bridging the generational gap, and the importance of emotional empowerment. The sessions will be moderated and facilitated by an impressive array of nationally-known leaders.
The convention is being held in St. Louis, home of one of AKA's founders, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. Several activities and commemorations will be held in her honor.
Other highlights of the convention include:
oparticipation of prominent religious leaders at the Ecumenical Service
oinduction of outstanding women into the sorority as honorary members
opresentation of awards to two history-making notables:
oSophia Stewart, who won a historic copyright infringement lawsuit against the producers of The Matrix;
oEphren Taylor, CEO of City Capital Corporation, the youngest millionaire of a publicly-traded company;
odedication of the library at the Ethel Hedgeman Lyle Academy, an academic haven with an excellent scholastic record
opresentation of awards to local leaders whose good works and good deeds mirror AKA's service mission.
The conference will also feature a public meeting on Sunday, July 11. The community is invited to attend this meeting to become acquainted with Alpha Kappa Alpha, its mission and to hear an update on the week's activities in St. Louis.
The Convention will also be devoted to renewing the sisterly bond that has made the Sorority endure for 102 years.
In announcing the convention, International President McKinzie said: “Alpha Kappa Alpha is humbled and honored to celebrate our first convention of our second century in St. Louis - the birthplace of our revered founder, Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. In her honor and guided by her spirit, we will use the occasion to celebrate our illustrious history, renew our commitment to our mission, strengthen ties with one another and chart the journey toward our second Centennial.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is America's first Greek-letter organization founded in 1908 by, and for, African-American college women. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, it is one of the world's leading service organizations. The Sorority's members have made a commitment “to serve all mankind” through a nucleus of more than 250,000 women in over 975 chapters in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan and in the continent of Africa. Barbara A. McKinzie is the 27th International President. Her administration is marked by the ESP theme, which stands for Economics, Service and Partnerships. For more information, log on to www.aka1908.com.
Chief Information Officer
312-371-8917 - Cell
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Contact: Melody McDowell