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Alpha Kappa Alpha raises $1 million in one day for HBCUs

CW/ Nicholas Stellon

CW/ Nicholas Stellon

CW/ Nicholas Stellon

Amanda Le, Contributing Writer

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To Imani Daffin, Alpha Kappa Alpha’s national campaign to raise $1 million in one day is a brave and progressive way to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). It is a campaign she could benefit from as she plans on attending an HBCU after her time at The University of Alabama.

“These ladies used their resources to achieve and pursue good,” said Daffin, a senior majoring in public relations and history. “I plan on attending Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston after I graduate. It’s where my grandparents and dad went to school, so it is really special to me.”

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. campaign took place Monday, Sept. 17. The historical-service sorority launched the campaign in order to promote awareness and raise funds for HBCUs. Chapters around the country participated in the challenge to sustain HBCUs.

Alpha Kappa Alpha’s new international president, Glenda Glover, also serves as university president of Tennessee State University, an HBCU. Part of her platform is focusing on education and putting an emphasis on HBCUs for the next four years.

“HBCUs are struggling financially, enduring questions regarding their relevance and many have declining enrollment,” Glover said in a press release. “Our institutions need our help. This will not be the generation that loses HBCUs – not on our watch.”

Robbie Washington, president of Tuscaloosa’s graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Eta Xi Omega, said she believes the goal of raising $1 Million is highly achievable.

“I think sometimes graduates and undergraduate students particularly think $1 million sounds like a lot, but it just demonstrates that if we all work together and have this common concern and support that it could be done,” Washington said. “We stamp our brand on the idea of financially supporting each HBCU campus so we can help students stay in school.”

Amber Scales, the University’s undergraduate Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter president and a senior majoring in public relations and theater, said she was proud to partake in the campaign and that she was passionate about raising funds to help sustain HBCUs.

“Both of my parents attended HBCUs, so without them being educated in that way, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to choose to go to The University of Alabama,” Scales said. “I think they’re just a backbone of not only of the black community, but the educational community in America. Education is so important to everyone. It’s such a privilege.”

The University’s undergraduate chapter, Theta Sigma, also partnered with Stillman College, an HBCU in Tuscaloosa.

Members and alumni of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the University showed their efforts by sending a donation link through emails and posting on social media platforms. Graphics, articles and campaign videos flourished on the internet with the hashtag “#AKA1Million1Day.”

André R. Denham, president of the Black Faculty and Staff Association, said he believes other sororities and fraternities will recognize Alpha Kappa Alpha’s philanthropic efforts.

“Any time an organization decides to take on a philanthropic effort, that’s a good thing, especially an organization like the AKAs,” Denham said. “And if you know about the history of HBCU’s, you know that they play an important role in African American communities when it comes to educating African American students. HBCU’s were where these organizations like AKA came out of, so it’s great to see organizations like this that are giving back and trying to help those that are coming up behind them.”

Scales said she received an update on the campaign, and though she does not know the exact amount of money the women raised, Alpha Kappa Alpha did reach its goal, raising over $1 million.

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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
Alpha Kappa Alpha raises $1 million in one day for HBCUs