ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA FOUNDATION OF DETROIT
A Brief History
In 1987 under the leadership of President Erma G. Davis, Alpha Rho Omega Chapter formed the Property Acquisition Committee and appointed Schylbea J. Hopkins as the first chairman. The committee was charged with securing funds, coordinated by Erma K. Greene, and locating an appropriate building that would serve as our business office and headquarters. Under the leadership of both Alfredine Jordan Wiley and the late Jean Sherman, a plan was initiated for members to make voluntary contributions to raise necessary capital to undertake this project.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit was formed and incorporated in the State of Michigan as a non-profit corporation on June 4, 1991 for the purpose of expanding our community service programs and to establish property ownership. Brenda Keaton and Frances Paul Steen were charged with preparing the documents needed to receive the 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Service designation that provides community donors an income tax credit for contributions made to the Foundation. The Foundation received an Advance Ruling in November, 1991 from the Internal Revenue Service that recognized it as exempt from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3).
Chapter projects that were to be funded by Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit included: Africare, Health Care Initiatives, AKA-NAACP Youth Fashion for Freedom, NAACP, On Track (a tutoring and mentoring program), Selected Seniors Citizens Program, the United Negro College Fund/Telethon & Walk-A-Thon, and annual college scholarships.
The first Foundation Board of Directors' meeting was held on Feburary 14, 1992 with Alfredine Jordan Wiley as President; Vastene Woodhouse, Vice-President; Schylbea J. Hopkins, Secretary; Terri Barnett, Financial Secretary; Lois West, Treasurer; Kathy Hemingway, Dolores Reaves, Marilyn Gripper and Brenda Keaton as at-large Directors.
Lois and Darwin Harper are credited with locating the property at 1525 Howard Street in Detroit. The building was purchased on December 15, 1993 and the first meeting was held in it on January 8, 1994. An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, January 15, 1994. In attendance was Alpha Kappa Alpha National President Mary Shy Scott, City of Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, City Council members Alberta Tinsley-Williams, the late Brenda Scott, and the late Kay Everett.
On November 7, 1999, under the leadership of Kate Civil, a mortgage burning ceremony was held. This was made possible because of the generosity of our members and the faith in our ongoing service projects.