Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908 by 16 original members, according to the sorority's official website. Since its inception, the organization has grown to include more than 140,000 active members in 10 regions across the world. Alpha Kappa Alpha was the first Greek-letter organization to include only black women as members.
Alpha Kappa Alpha had 16 founders. Nine scholastic women started the organization in Miner Hall on January 15, 1908, and seven sophomores were invited to join a month later. The motto is "By Culture and By Merit," and official colors of the group are apple green and salmon pink. In January 1913, the group became legally incorporated in Washington, D.C. The first chapter outside Washington was created in Chicago by founder Beulah Burke.
The sorority has inducted prominent members of society as honorary members. The first was Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House in Chicago. Alicia Keys, Dr. Maya Angelou, Marian Anderson, Suzanne De Passe and Bebe Moore Campbell are some of the organization's other honorary members.
Contemporary chapters include sororities in Great Britain, West Africa, the Bahamas, Korea and Germany. More than 260,000 women have been members of the sorority since its inception.