Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) has been making history since it first launched in 1908 at Howard University as the first Black sorority. However, the organization just made history again as the first Greek letter organization to open their own credit union. And we love to see it.
AKA is a historic Black sorority that is focused on unity. Their mission statement focuses on promotions in social stature, studying, cultivating friendships, and promoting high educational and ethical standards. The sorority was founded by Ethel Hedgemon and nine other Howard University students in 1908 to serve as a support network for women of color.
If this sorority sounds familiar, it is because Vice President Kamala Harris and novelist Toni Morrison were both members, repping the pink and green in college. During a speech by Vice President Harris at the sorority’s 70th Boule in July 2022, she shared “And when I graduated high school, there, of course, there was no question that I would attend Howard University. And I was determined, from a young girl, to join Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.”
She also added, “This sisterhood remains a key part of who I am today.”
With more than 350,000 active members, the sorority is proudly part of the Divine Nine, an umbrella organization featuring nine famous Black fraternities and sororities.
The credit union called “For Members Only” is the first Black-owned, women-led, sorority-based digital banking financial institution in the U.S.
Wait, what is a credit union?
It’s a valid question! A credit union is similar to a bank but is member-owned and not-for-profit: When you deposit money you become an owner of the union. The credit union uses the money from deposits to be able to offer loans, like a bank, at low-interest rates. Additionally, a credit union can offer other financial services at better rates and with fewer fees than you’d see at a for-profit bank
The credit union is chartered, regulated, and insured, and will offer savings accounts, loans, and other financial options to AKA members, their families, and employees at the credit unions.
In the U.S. currently, there are only 38 Black-owned credit unions including two Black-owned fraternity credit unions — Omega Psi Phi Credit Union in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and the Phi Beta Sigma Federal Credit Union in Washington, DC.
More details are coming soon, for now, the union is for members only, and AKA extends membership by invitation, but this moment is important to the progression and empowerment of Greek Life in America, and its members.