Sorority Celebrates 100th Anniversary - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. capped off nearly a week of celebration ending on Friday commemorating the 100th anniversary of its founding by donating $1 million to Howard University for the purpose of preserving the sorority’s legacy. The first AKA chapter was launched at Howard on Jan. 15, 1908.

The money will be used to maintain the extensive collection of sorority documents housed at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center on campus and, in the form of a founders’ endowed scholarship in the name of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s first national president, Nellie Quander, the donation will also help others attend the prestigious school.

“If we don’t preserve our heritage, no one else will. In the interest of safeguarding our legacy, we’re more than happy to give $1 million this day,” said Barbara McKinzie, the sorority’s 27th international president.

The donation was not the only historic move made by Alpha Kappa Alpha to help memorialize its 100th anniversary. Mattel invited the AKAs to be immortalized in the image of Barbie.

Along with wearing the AKA’s trademark pink and green, AKA Barbie will emulate the organization’s most recent service platform—promoting economics and financial literacy, says McKinzie. “The economic education platform is meant for members to educate themselves in order to be able to educate others. The idea is that economics permeates every element of our lives.”

She adds, “Barbie was created to inspire young girls to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up. I hope that will be a socially responsible and economically mature adult.”

The doll will be available later this year for $50 at and Barbie Collector Catalogue, says Liz Grampp, director of marketing for Barbie Collector at Mattel. Alpha Kappa Alpha will receive an undisclosed royalty from sales of the doll, and Mattel will handle manufacturing and distribution.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.