Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Launches its First-Ever Federal Credit Union

by Xara Aziz
Credit: Psi Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

The first intercollegiate historically African American sorority has officially joined the banking business.

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Incorporated has announced that it is opening a “For Members Only Federal Credit Union,” which has been designed to quell disruptions in building generational wealth for Black women.

According to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the National Credit Union Administration granted the sorority a charter earlier this month and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2023.

The Chicago-based organization will provide its members and their families with credit and checking accounts, loans, direct deposits and credit cards, according to a press release.

“As the first Black-owned, woman-led, sorority-based (and) 100% digital financial institution, we are poised to deliver innovative financial solutions that drive economic growth for our members, chapters, families and employees of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,” The organization’s International President Danette Anthony Reed wrote in a letter to members.

AKA’s announcement comes on the heels of several other Black-owned financial services that have surfaced in recent years. In 2020, Atlanta-born rapper Killer Mike helped launch the “Bank Black” movement, raising $45 million in venture capital to help expand its digital banking business to people of color. And in 1986, both Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity opened credit unions, while Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity closed its credit union in 2010.

AKA is the oldest of four major Black sororities in the U.S. and is considered one of the most prestigious with members including Vice President Kamala Harris, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.

“Local leaders of the sorority, founded at Howard University in 1908, declined to share more details about the initiative,” according to the AJC.

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