“Service to all mankind” has been the central purpose of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. since its founding at Howard University in 1908. The Delta Chi Omega Chapter has incorporated this mandate into all of its programming since its chartering. Almost immediately, the Chapter established a Scholarship Program. Events to raise funds were, and continue to be, a major source of funding for Scholarship Awards. The first event was a Halloween Carnival attended by about one hundred Evanstonians. Scholarships average over $10,000 per year. Chapter program emphases have changed as the local, national and international needs have changed. During the sixties, Chapter members were deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement. Activities included tutoring children at centers set up by the Urban League in conjunction with the grammar and secondary school administrations. Members of the Chapter served as officers of the local Urban League Committee and as members of the Evanston Human Relations Commission. During the 80’s increasing awareness of the problems of the Third World resulted in the Sorority’s support of projects in Africa through the work of Africare. Delta Chi Omega adopted an African Village, providing financial support to improve the quality of life for the Villagers.
On January 15, 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became the first Greek-lettered organization established by and for black women. Its creation began with Ethyl Hedgeman Lyle, a junior at Howard University located in Washington, D.C. During the academic year 1907-1908, Ethel Hedgeman returned from her summer vacation with the inspiration and desire to organize a sorority, an association of women students through which the talents and strengths of these students could be organized for the mutual benefit of all. She discussed this idea with a number of her classmates and associates during the fall and early winter. After a period of exchanging ideas and pooling suggestions, the group of nine started to work to crystallize the preliminary organization. In this group were the Burke sisters (Beulah and Lillie), Margret Flagg Holmes, Marjorie Hill, Lucy Slowe, Marie Woolfolk Taylor, Anna Easter Brown, and Lavinia Norma. Late in February 1908, seven students of the class of 1910 were admitted. These members were Joanna Berry, Norma Boyd, Ethel Jones, Sarah Meriweather, Alice Murray, Carrie Snowden, and Harriet Terry. In the later years it became the Alpha Kappa Alpha tradition to honor all these women as “founders.” The movement for incorporation was led by one of the sorority’s incorporators, Nellie Quander. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority became incorporated in 1913. The sorority is committed to serve in every community it is located, which includes over 725 undergraduate and graduate chapters and over 170,000 members in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Through the years, however, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s function has become more complex. After its incorporation as a perpetual body in 1913, Alpha Kappa Alpha gradually branched out and became the channel through which selected college-trained women improved the socioeconomic conditions in their city, state, nation, and the world. The purposes of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated are: 1) To cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards. 2) To promote unity and friendship among college women. 3) To study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women. 4) To maintain a progressive interest in college life. 5) To be supreme in service to all of mankind. Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sisterhood composed of women who have consciously chosen this affiliation as a means of self-fulfillment through volunteer service. Alpha Kappa Alpha cultivates and encourages high scholastic and ethical standards; promotes unity and friendship among college women; alleviates problems concerning girls and women; maintains a progressive interest in college life; and serves all mankind through a nucleus of more than 170,000 women in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.
The Delta Chi Omega Chapter of the national African-American college sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded in Evanston in 1944. Made up of alumnae members, one of its primary goals from the beginning was to provide scholarships for college-bound African-American women. With the motto “Service to All Mankind,” the organization has always had a strong tradition of community service. AKA members were actively involved in the local civil rights movement of the 1960s. Today, the organization supports tutoring and financial literacy programs for school children; mentoring programs for high school girls; women’s health awareness; and programs to help the needy. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, is an integral part of the larger history of African Americans. Delta Chi Omega Chapter is an integral part of the larger history of African Americans in Evanston, Illinois. The achievements of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Delta Chi Omega and its individual members are astounding when you consider the total history of oppressed African Americans in America. The sorority continues to stress education, philanthropy, self-improvement and excellence. It is a collective realization that the sorority is stronger than the individual. In this way, scholarship funds may be raised, mentorship programs implemented, and lives affected favorably. From the very beginning, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has created programs which help not only the membership, but the entire African American community.