Three years ago I was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I can say without a doubt that these three years have shaped me and given me experiences I would not have had otherwise. I have also heard a lot of negative judgments about what my sorority and other Black Greek Lettered Organizations are about. People say things like we pay for our friends, we don’t help the community or we treat our organizations like a religion. All of these critiques are misinformed and I wish people would simply not speak on things they do not understand. Many people see the line jackets and the stroll videos and think that is all we are but our organizations are so much more than that.
Being a member of AKA has taught me how to be a leader and how to get things done. I have gotten the opportunity to travel to conferences across the country and meet people who have changed my life forever. I have also been given more opportunities to serve my community and the world than I could have ever imagined. I’ve registered voters, mentored young girls and raised money for Africare, one of the many organizations we partner with.
The bond you share with your sorority sisters is like no other. I always correct people when they call my sorority sisters my friends because the bond we share is so much more than that. These are women I have matured with and who I share a common goal with, to be a service to all mankind. When I moved to London I knew no one and would wear my AKA jacket out periodically in hopes of running into another member and I did! I now have access to 30 sisters who check in on me and help me navigate life across the pond.
I stand on the shoulders of so many women who have fought to make a change in the world. From my founders who created a safe space for young college-educated women, to my sisters who participated in the civil rights movement and especially Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson who have finally been recognized for their historic work with NASA.
Whenever I am asked about AKA the same quote pops into my head “From the outside you could never understand and from the inside, you can never explain.” Greek life isn’t for everyone and that’s fine, all I ask is that you respect my choice just like I respect yours.
3 years down and forever to go.