Press release from Alpha Kappa Alpha:
ASHEVILLE — As our nation pauses to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Gamma Gamma Omega Chapter are honoring Dr. King’s life by recognizing the city of Asheville’s sanitation workers with providing them breakfast on Jan. 15 at 7 a.m.
Dr. King’s life was taken on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., while he was there in an effort to increase the wages and working condition of the city’s sanitation workers. The evening prior to Dr. King’s assassination, Dr. King conveyed the following message to the sanitation workers: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through” (King, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” 217). Dr. King emphasized the need for the sanitation workers to have economic equality in addition to social justice.
The members of the Gamma Gamma Omega Chapter chose to honor the city of Asheville’s Sanitation workers because they stand with Dr. King in believing everyone deserves economic equality and to show their appreciation to the workers for what they do to support every resident of the city of Asheville.
Jan. 15 also marks Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s 110th anniversary. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the first Greek-letter sorority brought into being in 1908 as a support network for women of color. Alpha Kappa Alpha’s mission is to cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, to promote unity and friendship among college women, to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature, to maintain a progressive interest in college life, and to be of “Service to All Mankind.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,’s Gamma Gamma Omega Chapter was chartered on March 31, 1940 in Asheville. The chapter provides educational and enrichment services to students through the ASCEND program, which is a national program developed by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Additionally, the sorority’s chapter members volunteer and/or donate funds to other organizations including the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), Alzheimer’s Association, Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement (ABIPA), Housing Authority of the city of Asheville’s Residents’ Council, Manna Food Bank, St. James AME Church, City of Asheville’s Parks and Recreation Department and Hill Street Baptist Church. The chapter has also awarded over $25,000 in scholarships to students who have graduated from local high schools.