Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit
In 1987 under the leadership of President Erma G. Davis, Alpha Rho Omega Chapter formed a Property Acquisition Committee which was charged with securing funds and locating an appropriate building that would serve as the Foundation headquarters. Under the leadership of both Alfredine Jordan Wiley and the late Jean Sherman, a plan was initiated for members to make the necessary 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 nonprofit corporation on June 4, 1991 for the purpose of expanding the community service programs of Alpha Rho Omega Chapter and establishing 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, which allows members and community donors to receive income tax credit for contributions made to the Foundation. Chapter projects that were to be funded by Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit include: Africare, Health Care Initiatives, AKA-NAACP Youth Fashion for Freedom, NAACP, On Track, a tutoring and mentoring program, College Scholarships, Selected Seniors Citizens, and the United Negro College Fund/Telethon & Walk-A-Thon.
The first Foundation Board of Directors’ meeting was held on February 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 that would eventually serve as our new home. 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, the Foundation held a mortgage burning ceremony, an event made possible because of the generosity of our members and the faith in our ongoing service projects.