Three large salmon pink and apple green letters at the Union spelled out “AKA.” They are there to celebrate for a week the first African-American sorority chartered at University of Mississippi: Alpha Kappa Alpha – Theta Psi chapter.
Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) is the first Greek-lettered sorority established by African-American college women. The sorority was founded on Jan. 15, 1908, at Howard University by 20 students and was incorporated on Jan. 29, 1913. The AKA Theta Psi chapter was the first African-American sorority on Oxford campus at the University of Mississippi in 1974. As all sororities have a saying from Phi Mu’s “The Loyal Sisters” to Delta Gamma’s “Do Good,” and AKA’s is “Service to All Mankind.”
Skiey Hardin, president of Theta Psi chapter, explained there are five topics AKA focuses on all year: educational enrichment, health promotion (emphasis on Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease and strokes, and mental well-being), family strengthening, environmental ownership (“Acts of Green”), and global impact with emphasis on educating the local community and its elected offices about the importance of the United Nations to a strong U.S. foreign policy.
“Sororities of National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) each has their own week,” Skiey Hardin, senior forensic chemistry major, said. “This week is ours. We have had a lot of events scheduled this week from fun activities to helping the community.”
This past Sunday, the AKA ladies attended a service at Springfield Missionary Baptist Church. On Monday, they donned their pearls for the Instagram Photo Challenge at the Union. Later on at exactly 6:08 p.m., AKAs had a block party at the Union Plaza.
Tuesday, the AKA ladies welcomed Alpha Omicron Pi (AOPi) and showed the girls how to move like them at the Union. Later on that night, they hosted a seminar on financial fitness that taught the importance of budgeting. On Wednesday, they had two educational programs: HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Graduate Program Awareness for post-graduate opportunties and a Women’s Empowerment seminar at 7:30 p.m. at the Bryant Hall.
“This seminar was based on the self respect women need to obtain, and targeted at uplifting women in a positive manner,” Hardin said.
Tonight, the AKA ladies are gathering for a cozy watch party for Scandal at the Union Ballroom at 8 p.m. This is their resting up for Friday when they donate 231 backpacks to children at the Boys and Girls Club.
Hardin said the AKA hosted a school supply drive for local children on Sept. 4th. “With the help of the Ole Miss community we were able to provide 106 backpacks for local children,” Hardin said, “During our annual Roundup Conference held in Memphis we were able to provide an additional 125 backpacks giving a total of 231 backpacks in all.”
The backpacks won’t the be only way AKAs will help the children in. Hardin said they will help the children with their homework, tutor them with their reading or math and play games with them from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The AKAs are ready for the game day! They will set up two tents in the Grove to tailgate with Alpha Phi Alpha all day and cheer on our Rebels in the Vaught-Hemingway stadium at sundown.
“We’ll be cooking out in the Grove!” Hardin said with a laugh. She will be in the Grove Friday night holding a spot for their tents, ready to tailgate all day Saturday for our Rebels.
AKAs had a busy week of giving back, educating themselves and others, and just having a great time overall. AKAs has a booth out front of the Union today and tomorrow for those interested in learning more about the week’s events.
For more information about Alpha Kappa Alpha – Theta Psi chapter go here.
Callie Daniels is a staff writer and reporter for HottyToddy.com. You can contact her about this story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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