All Articles Tagged "Alpha Kappa Alpha"
It’s no surprise that in the black community belonging to the Divine Nine, a historically black fraternity or sorority is big deal for some people. Hurt feelings, deflated pride much drama and in the worst cases even death has been associated with the process of being pledged into one of these organizations.
The latest case of women not making the cut comes from two college seniors at Howard University. Washington City Paper is reporting that Laurin Compton and Lauren Cofield have filed a lawsuit against Alpha Kappa Alpha saying they violated their human rights and Howard University for allowing the hazing to take place.
The women say the hazing began their freshman year when they were invited to “Ivy Day,” a ceremony for outgoing AKAs and prospective pledges or inductees, Howard’s AKA chapter’s pledging privileges have been taken away for past hazing violations.
They claim the hazing came in the form of the AKAs telling them they couldn’t pearls, the colors pink, green or any colors that could be blended to make pink or green. The inductees, who were called “Sweets” or, in some cases, “weak bitches,” were also told they couldn’t speak to non-AKA members.
Compton’s mother, who is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, wrote a letter complaining about the process. Cofield’s mother, also a member, addressed the hazing as well.
From there Compton and Cofield were ostracized by the sorority members being labeled “snitch-friendly” and “snitch-sympathists.”
In 2013, three years later, Compton and Cofield still haven’t been inducted. When they applied again, the Howard chapter told them that their cap for new members had been reached.
Cofield and Compton believe since they’re mothers are both AKAs, and they are subsequently legacy pledges, they should have been the first members offered induction into the sorority. They believe their human rights were violated because they were discriminated against because of their familial connection to the sorority. They are requesting that the court grant an injunction to place the current pledging process on hold.
Do you think these women and their mothers are taking things a little too far, or do they actually have a legit case?
San Francisco Bay area natives Shauna Harper and Selena Young aren’t related by blood, but they are sisters just the same. They predict each other’s thoughts, are a daily presence in each other’s lives, and share a baby called Define Me Greek.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters launched their business in 2011 when they realized the t-shirts they made for their organization’s conference satisfied a common need. Members of Greek lettered fraternities and sororities needed apparel that did more than advertise their letters. They wanted what they wore to stand for something.
On the cusp of their two-year anniversary, Shauna and Selena sat down to talk about how they expanded their business from a t-shirt to a growing enterprise with an active social media community.
Madame Noire (MN): Describe the premise of Define Me Greek for those unfamiliar with the brand.
SELENA: Define Me Greek is an apparel and accessories company that looks to capture the essence of organizations. We create designs that are bold, modern, and give people an opportunity to express who they are and what they do as Greek lettered organizations. Our company gives people the opportunity to see that there is more to us than just the letters that we wear.
MN: How did your business relationship start?
SELENA: Shauna and I were preparing for our international conference. We decided to create a shirt for our region. As we began to brainstorm, she and I were thinking that we wanted something that’s a little more meaningful. That turned into, “Well, if we are looking for something a little more meaningful, what if we could do something like this for all the organizations?” That’s when really we started looking at doing something different than what’s already out there, and having a story behind what people wear.
MN: Tell me about the first days of Define Me Greek. How did you get the company off the ground?
SHAUNA: I don’t want to say it happened overnight, but it was one of those things where we just took an idea from a concept to reality. We were sitting down chitchatting and said, “Let’s have a business meeting.” The next week we scheduled a business meeting, and next thing you know we had to-dos and we were doing them. It just ended up turning into what it is today. Sometimes we don’t even have a chance to look up, and when we do it’s like, “Oh my God! Look at all we’ve done!”
MN: What confirmed for you that this was a viable business?
SELENA: [A year and half after we started] Shauna and I were going to a regional conference in Rhode Island, one of the biggest regions in our organization. This was our first major event. We looked up how much it was going to cost and we — literally by faith — took every single penny we had. We flew all the way to Rhode Island with really nowhere to stay. We just said we’re going to go out there and see what lies ahead.
We took everything we had in two suitcases. We took trains, buses, and cabs. We walked blocks to get this venue. When we got there, it just really solidified who we are and our existence. We were able to make so many connections. Define Me Greek became known around the United States after that event.
The “first and finest” Greek sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, was founded January 15th, 1908 on the campus of Howard University by 9 female students. With over 170,000 members in Undergrad and Grad chapters nationwide, there are some members in particular that we have grown to know and love. The following are celebrity women who are members of this illustrious sorority.
There’s definitely something chic about being a Greek. Especially about being a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Hundreds of young people, and graduate students too, go MIA as they pledge each year, and once they cross and are initiated in, they gain massive opportunities to network, engage in community service and fundraising. The NPHC has been around since 1930, and since then, it has seen a number of it’s organizations’ members go on to do big things and make big names of themselves. However, most of the black Greeks that are well-known are honorary members–no offense to them. Here’s a list of just a few living members of the four historically black sororities that pledged, you might not have known about, or would expect. Represent for your letters ladies!
Welcome to Grown Greek Talk 101. Knowing my fellow Greeks some will appreciate the contents of this article and others will curse me for it, ehhh things happen. Now that college is behind us, let’s discuss “Growing up Greek”; the dos and don’ts of being an alumni member of a Divine Nine organization and how to rep post college.
(Chicago Sun Times) — A Cook County judge Thursday morning removed a contempt of court ruling against Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and gave the organization until later this month to provide financial records.
The move came after the group sent its top finance staffer — who’d been at the AKA national meeting wrapping up in St. Louis — to its Chicago headquarters Thursday morning to provide some records for the sorority’s past president, 94-year-old Julia Purnell.
Purnell had filed to have access to the group’s financial records after members unsuccessfully sued the sorority and its leadership, including President Barbara A. McKinzie, a former Chicago Housing Authority and Cook County Forest Reserve financial manager. The lawsuit alleged that over her four-year term, McKinzie directed the spending of millions of the sorority’s funds for personal use and pet projects, including a salary and retirement for the traditionally unpaid post and a wax statue in her likeness on display at a Baltimore museum.
(Chicago Sun Times) — A judge in Chicago scolded the director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. — one of the nation’s most influential black women’s organizations — on Wednesday for failing to make the financial records available at the Stoney Island headquarters, as he had ordered.
But Cook County Judge Daniel Riley agreed to wait another day for the records after Deborah Dangerfield, executive director of the Chicago-based organization, told him she couldn’t access them because of a change in computer systems.
Things seemed super shady after Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. international president, Barbara A. McKinzie was sued by her members for misappropriating chapter funds. Maybe the two wax statues costing $900,000 gave it away? Even though the members accused her of paying herself more than $1 million in salary and retirement from the traditionally unpaid office, spending thousands of dollars on dining, limousine rides and jewelry for personal use, the suit was dropped by the judge.
(Chicago Sun Times) — After it refused to open its financial records for review, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. must bring them to court today, even as the organization’s members are gathered in St. Louis for a weeklong meeting and its leadership faces charges of misappropriating funds, a Cook County judge ruled Monday.
Judge Daniel Riley said a representative of the nation’s oldest Greek-lettered sorority for African-American women needs to have the group’s check register, minutes book and wire transfer documents after the group stonewalled attempts to retrieve the records, which a former president on July 1 won the right to inspect.