Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority has inducted a new class of honorary members, all of whom have made significant accomplishments in business, sports, media and entertainment.
The sorority founded by Black women students at Howard University in 1908, whose membership includes Vice President Kamala Harris, activist Bernice King, actress Phylicia Rashad, and author Toni Morrison, announced Thursday (July 15) that they have inducted eight new, trailblazing Black women as honorary members.
The new members are actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Cynthia Erivo, basketball legend Lisa Leslie, journalist Robin Roberts, business executive Ursula M. Burns, costume designer Ruth E. Carter, film producer Debra Martin Chase, and The Color Purple author Alice Walker.
The women took part in formal, in-person inductions in separate ceremonies throughout the U.S., which were presided over by Alpha Kappa Alpha’s International President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Glenda Glover.
“I am honored to welcome these extraordinary women into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,” said Glover. “Each of these luminaries has reached the pinnacle of success in her respective field and sphere of influence. They are recognized and celebrated around the world and epitomize greatness.
“Since our founding in 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha women have been history makers and standard bearers,” she continued. “Our newest members are writing a new chapter in our long and distinguished history. They now join an international sisterhood of more than 300,000 members who exemplify excellence through our lifelong commitment to the communities we serve. The induction of our newest honorary members will ensure that we continue to shine our light on the extraordinary accomplishments of Black women.”
Roberts spoke Thursday about her induction on ABC’s Good Morning America, sharing that her mother was a member of AKA at Howard University.
“I remember hearing her voice had so much pride when she talked about her experience and it’s really based on sisterhood, and it’s based on service, service to all. So I’m extremely honored and just pleased,” said Roberts.
Other honorary members inducted into AKA over the years include Coretta Scott King, Maya Angelou, Mae C. Jemison, Gladys Knight, Alicia Keys, Ava DuVernay, and Jada Pinkett Smith.