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Sorority brings a world of service to Charlotte with convention
Alpha Kappa Alpha boule' includes service projects
Published Tuesday, July 8, 2014 4:06 pm
by Herbert L. White

The nation’s first black sorority is holding its national convention in Charlotte.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 66th Boule Hostess Chapter will welcome more than 11,000 sorority members to Charlotte as part of the organization’s national convention. Several service projects are scheduled along with leadership meetings from July 12-18.

Alpha Kappa Alpha will host its 66th boule’, or biennial meeting, July 12-18 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Organizers expect more than 11,000 members to attend events ranging from service projects to a youth summit and golf tournament. AKA has more than 265,000 members worldwide.

“This is the very first time it’s been held in Charlotte and we are very excited,” Hostess Chapter Chair Anna Kate Davis said. “We are as pleased as we can possibly be.”

The sorority was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15, 1908 as a service organization. Its members will do several projects, including a global anti-hunger drive and a beautification program at Johnson C. Smith University.

“Our motto is ‘Service to all Mankind,’” said Davis, who joined the sorority at in 1970 as an undergraduate at Shaw University in Raleigh. “All this time, we’ve had service projects based on the goals of our leadership. We will always give back to the community.”

Some of its most famous members are Ruth Simmons, the first black president of an Ivy League school (Brown University), “Cosby Show” star Phylicia Rashad, the first African American actress to win a Tony Award, and comic Wanda Sykes.

Calendar of public events during Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s 66th boule' in Charlotte, with dates, times and locations:    

July 11
Tree planting, Johnson C. Smith University, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Board members will plant 35 trees as a beautification project in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation in support of environmental sustainability.

July 12
Benefit golf tournament, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Proceeds from the fundraiser at Ballantyne Golf Club go to the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation. TVOne news host Roland Martin is the celebrity golfer.

Stop Hunger Now Service Project for International Mandela Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Charlotte Convention Center. Over 1,000 members and volunteers will package 100,000 meals as part of the international Stop Hunger Now campaign. 

July 13
Town hall meeting, 1:30-3 p.m.
A panel of activists/advocates will engage in spirited discussion on voter rights, racism, Stand Your Ground laws, African-American youth, the schoolhouse-to-prison pipeline and other issues African-Americans face. U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and former congresswoman Eva Clayton are among the panelists.

Public meeting, 5:30-7 p.m.
The sorority will acquaint the public with its plans for the conference, including service projects it will host. AKA officials will award honors to national and international notables from civil rights, entertainment, education, social service and other sectors.

July 17
Youth Summit, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Carole Hoefener Center 610 E. 7th St. AKA and Carole Hoefener Center will host 600 youth in discussions on self-development. The summit will include interactive workshops on character building, education enrichment, leadership skills and civic engagement.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Sampson Davis, author of “Living & Dying in Brick City – An E.R. Doctor Returns Home.” Davis will share his story about overcoming adversity and achieving success and discuss his book.

For more information on the boule’ and events, go to to www.aka1908.com.


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