The “K’s” are used to making history.
As the first Black sorority, founded on Howard’s campus on January 15, 1908- history seems to be what they do.
However, these pretty girls are not just “good looks” and “phirst phamily.” In so many ways, they have knocked down mountains and obstacles that have opened doors for not just other Black women, but for the Black and brown community.
Such a case has been presented in their work in the sciences.
This has been documented richly by the movie, Hidden Figures. Within the movie, Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, Dorothy Johnson Vaughan, and Mary Jackson (all three AKAs) became instrumental in developing systems and processes for NASA’s space program and ultimately helping to launch of astronaut John Glenn into space. They worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center but worked to shift how people viewed Black women and their intellect forever.
And while their presence and the exceptional work that they did distinguished them as famous firsts, it was not until 1992 before another member of the sorority, Mae Jemison could make her mark at NASA by serving on the STS-47 mission and orbiting the Earth for nearly eight days.
Now… another member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has made history. Fionnghuala O’Reilly, an initiate of the Mu Delta Chapter, has become the first Black woman to become Miss Ireland. She too is a brain. This scientist earned her bachelor of science degree from George Washington University in the U.S.A. and is a systems engineer. An Ireland native, she is back home in Dublin working as a director for NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge.
According to WatchtheYard.com, she launched a social media campaign entitled #ReachForTheStars that featured women and diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
She was named Engineers Ireland’s 2020 Engineers Week National Ambassador and included on Washington Life Magazine’s Innovators and Disruptors Tech 25 List which names ‘the entrepreneurs leading the charge on national and global innovations.’
Happy Founders Day to the pretty ladies and continue to make your mark in meaningful ways.