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Michelle Obama to be Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) announced at its Centennial Convention this week that Michelle Obama will be inducted as an honorary member. AKA was founded at Howard University in 1908 and is an historically black organization.

AKA has long participated in the civil rights movement and has worked for many charitable causes. According to Ms., “AKA spearheaded the first full-time congressional lobby for minority-group civil rights, the National Non-Partisan Council on Public Affairs” between 1938 and 1948. The sorority has also endeavored to encourage race consciousness and pride, end lynching, relieve poverty, and aid African children.

Once Obama is formally inducted, she technically can not become a member of any of the other black sororities or fraternities, known as the “Divine Nine”. However, a spokeswoman for Obama told the New York Times that “because of her respect for each of the historically black sororities and fraternities, her membership is non-exclusive. She looks forward to working with all of them to help bring change to their communities.”

Sources:

New York Times Caucus Blogs 7/14/08; Chronicle of Higher Education 7/14/08; Ms. Summer 2008