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Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority the founded at Howard University on January 15, 1908. The founding group comprised of 20 women and was led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. The sorority consists of college-educated women who come from diverse backgrounds. There are more than 250,000 women who are AKA sisters and the sorority has branched out to Europe, Africa and Asia. The mission and purpose of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is to improve the quality of life for world citizens. Here are 15 celebrities who crossed or are honorary, who embody their sorority’s giving mission and purpose.

Alicia Keys


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Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of her non-profit organization, Keep a Child Alive. The organization provides medicine to families and HIV and AIDS in Africa. Besides making musical strides, Keys invests in providing care for children who are have or have been affected by the AIDS/HIV epidemic.

Phylicia Rashad


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Phylicia Rashad

Known for her iconic role as Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show, Phylicia Rashad is the first African-American actress to win a Tony Award. She also earned a NAACP Image award for Outstanding Actress in a television movie.

Maya Angelou


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Maya Angelou

The historical poet and author has penned seven autobiographies, three books of essays and several books of poetry. She is best known for her work, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Angelou is also the first black woman to write a screenplay; her play Georgia, Georgia was produced by a Swedish film company and filmed in Sweden. Angelou is also an actress and producer.

Loretta Devine


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Loretta Devine

Loretta Devine has appeared in several films such as, Waiting To Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife, Jumping the Broom and For Colored Girls to name a few. She has won Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Grey’s Anatomy. 


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Gladys Knight

Known as the “Empress Of Soul,” Gladys Knight is a legendary singer, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian and author. She received an honorary doctorate in Performing arts from Shaw University. She has supported causes such as the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes.

Jada Pinkett-Smith


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Jada Pinkett-Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith is the wife of Will Smith and the co-founder of the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. The charity focuses on inner-city youth and family. They also partner with YouthBuild and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Lynn Whitfield


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Lynn Whitfield

The actress has won several awards for her performances. She is well known for A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, Eve’s Bayou and Madea Family Reunion, and nabbed an Emmy for her portrayal of Josephine Baker.

Wanda Sykes


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Wanda Sykes

Wanda Skyes is an American writer, comedian and actress. She earned an Emmy for her writing on The Chris Rock Show. In 2009 she had her own show that premiered on Fox and has appeared on several movies. She has done work for everyone from GLAAD to the American Cancer Society and the Alliance For Children’s Rights.

Vanessa Bell Calloway


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Vanessa Bell Calloway

Calloway made her film debut in Coming to America. She also was featured in What’s Love Got To Do With It and Crimson Tide. She obtained a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Ohio University, where she became an AKA.

Toni Braxton


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Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton has sold 66 million records worldwide. The singer has lupus and a son with autism. She is actively involved with organizations like Autism Speaks, that develop research on autism. Braxton has also done work for Lupus LA and the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation. 

 

Toni Morrison


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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s books, especially The Bluest Eye, Sula and Beloved, are nationally acclaimed. When she is not writing, she teaches, including past work at Princeton and establishing a residency at Oberlin College.

 

Iyanla Vanzant


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Iyanla Vanzant

The life coach is an acclaimed author and, of course, a television personality. Vanzant received her start in the entertainment industry through Oprah and is known for her popular show, Iyanla: Fix My Life. Vanzant is also a member of the 2008 Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

Ntozake Shange


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Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange is an American playwright and poet. Her famous book,  For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf was turned into a movie in 2010.

Sonia-Sanchez


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Sonia Sanchez

Activist, poet and professor Sonia Sanchez is one of the pioneers of producing literature geared towards discussing black feminism, and has written more than a dozen critically acclaimed works of poetry.

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is a writer known for her work that sheds light on Haitian culture. Her writing also revolves around the dynamic between mothers and daughters. She is an advocate for Haitians who are undocumented in the Dominican Republic and speaks openly about issues affecting the Haitian people.

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