This Week in Houston’s Buzz: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated 68th Boule

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is honored with its own day by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council on June 19, 2018.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated held its 68th Boule in Houston, Texas from     July 6-12, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas under the leadership of Dr. Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson. Nearly 20,000 members from all over the world attended the Biennial Conference in Houston, Texas. The 2014-2018 International Program theme was Launching New Dimensions of Service that combines traditional programs with new concepts, all designed to improve the lives of those we serve, while preparing future generations to assume their rightful place on the world stage. Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated is the nation’s first Greek letter organization established by African American college women on the campus of Howard University. This organization was founded on January 15, 1908 by a group of nine women: Ethel Hedgeman, Beulah E. Burke, Margaret Flagg, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Lucy Diggs, Marie Woolfolk, Anna Easter, and Lavinia Norman.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrates its 110-year with nearly 300,000 members with 986 chapters. This is an exciting time of growth, renewal and focus of sisterhood as the sorority continues its legacy of dedicated work within the African American communities. The attendees engage in service projects as well as leadership training and development.  Some highlights held this week were: TAKE ACTION Now Forum: Establishing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Social Justice Agenda; Launching New Dimensions of Service: Celebrating a Legacy of Leadership and Service in the Space City. The Public Meeting highlighted the sorority’s global service mission and accomplishments and honored civic leaders, both locally and worldwide; Habitat for Humanity Home Unveiling and the Educational Advancement Foundation Breakfast, Denim, Diamonds, and Donors that spotlighted student achievers that are excelling academically and Think HBCU Expo that showcased historically Black colleges and universities.

Some of the Who’s Who and celebrities that attended the Boule Conference include: The Honorable Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, Texas; Actor Jesse Williams; Actress, writer, director, producer Vanessa A. Williams; Actress, director, producer Vanessa Bell Calloway; Philanthropist and wife of NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Cookie Johnson; Actress Tasha Smith; Musician Kirk Whalum; and 68th Boule Chairman Diedra Fontaine, just to name a few.

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated International President

68th Boule International Achievement Awards Honorees:

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Medallion of Honor – Rev. Jesse L. Jackson (Founder and President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition)

Founders’ Graduate Service Award – Dr. Hansonia Caldwell Harriford (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated)

Ethel Hedgeman-Lyle Undergraduate Service Award – Keniece Y. Gray, International Second Vice President (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated)

International Service Award – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Founder and Chairperson, The Pocket Rocket Foundation)

Septima Poinsette Clark Award – The Honorable Teta V. Banks (National Chair, United Nations Association of the United States of America)

Loraine R. Green Service Award – Dr. Fannie Ella Frazier Hicklin (Diamond Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated)

Carrie B. Preston Leadership Award – Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover (President, Tennessee State University)

Rosa Louise Parks/Coretta Scott King Award – Frederica S. Wilson (Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives)

Vanguard Award – Sylvester Turner (Mayor, Houston, Texas)

Vanguard Award – Amanda K. Edwards (Member At-Large Position 4, Houston City Council)

Vanguard Award – Roland Martin (Journalist)

Presidential Award: Target I: Educational Enrichment – Ascend – Ifeoma White-Thorpe (Student, Harvard University)

Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, Target I: Educational Enrichment – Camille Borders (Rhodes Scholar)

Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, Target I: Educational Enrichment – Jasmine Brown (Rhodes Scholar)

Presidential Award: Target II: Health Promotion – Sylvia Trent-Adams (Deputy Surgeon General, United States of America)

Presidential Award: Target III: Family Strengthening – Eddie Bernice Johnson (Congresswoman, United States House of Representatives)

Presidential Award: Target III: Family Strengthening – Sheila Jackson Lee (Congresswoman, United States House of Representatives)

Presidential Award: Target IV: Environmental Ownership – National Museum of African American History and Culture

Presidential Award: Target V: Global Impact – Alpha Chapter, Howard University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Presidential Award: Target V: Global Impact – Africare

                  Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority member, Melanie Lawson

Alpha Kappa Alpha members dedicate two Habitat Homes for local families in the Houston area and are named in honor of 18th Int’l President Mattelia B. Grays and 21st Int’l President Faye B. Bryant.

Pastor Mia Wright serves as Keynote Speaker at the Ecumenical Worship Service

        Council Members Martha Castex-Tatum and Amanda K. Edwards

‘TAKE ACTION NOW’ forum panelists, U.S. Representatives Alma Adams, Terri Sewell and Sheila Jackson Lee

                                   ‘TAKE ACTION NOW’ forum audience

                                     ‘TAKE ACTION NOW’ forum panelists

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) inducts singer Yolanda Adams, diplomat Teta V. Banks, astronaut Jeanette J. Epps, activist Chantél Harris, and author Margo Lee Shetterly as honorary members