New York, NY—North Atlantic Regional Director Elicia Pegues Spearman, Esq. shared with Black Westchester, that in celebration of the 116th Founders’ Day of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® (AKA), on January 15, 2024, the sorority’s colors of pink and green lit up One World Trade Center and the New York City skyline. New York is located in AKA’s North Atlantic Region and is led by Spearman of New Haven, CT. She joined New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Adrienne E. Adams, Speaker of the New York City Council, and Melvin Norris, Director of Government Affairs of The Durst Organization, which developed One World Trade Center with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, at the skyscraper lighting.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded on January 15, 1908, and has more than 355,000 initiated members, with more than 16,000 members in its North Atlantic Region, which spans 11 states from the nation’s capital to New York, to Maine.
“Within Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., commemorating our organization’s Founders’ Day is an annual rite observed throughout the nation and across 11 countries around the world. It is a day when each member reflects upon and renews their commitment to our sisterhood’s mission and ideals,” said North Atlantic Regional Director Elicia Pegues Spearman. “This year, in New York City, it is both exciting and a privilege to be the FIRST sorority to have its name and colors up in lights at One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and other high points around the city, in collaboration with The Durst Organization. Today’s event provides an opportunity for Alpha Kappa Alpha’s name and its commitment to supreme service and sisterhood to SOAR to reach greater heights here in the Big Apple.”
“I am so honored to be with Alpha Kappa Alpha members on their 116th Founders’ Day to celebrate the oldest Greek-letter association established by African American college-educated women. “For more than a century, you have been breaking barriers for African American women. Your steadfast commitment to sisterhood, scholarship, and leadership has ensured that you live up to your creed of ‘service to all mankind.’ It is fitting that we celebrate your 116th birthday on the same day we remember and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. because we must not forget the women who helped propel the civil rights movement alongside him. African American women know how to ‘Get Stuff Done.’ May you continue to do so for another 116 years! New York City Mayor Eric Adams shared with Black Westchester.”
“I am proud to be a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, which upholds the values of sisterhood, scholarship, and service. AKAs across the country are on the front lines of leadership and movements for change and progress,” said City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams. “As we celebrate our 116th Founders’ Day, it is critical that we pay homage to those who created our beloved organization and paved the way for us to achieve higher heights. I am grateful for the never-ending support of my Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters and continue to be inspired by the goal of excellence instilled in our sisterhood. I remain committed to fostering the tenets of our sorority, ‘Service to all Mankind.’ Happy Founders’ Day!”
One World Trade Center was built by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization in a unique public-private partnership.
“The Durst Organization is proud to light up One World Trade Center and our towers in Midtown and Queens in recognition of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 116th Founders’ Day,” said Melvin Norris, Director of Government Affairs at The Durst Organization. “For the esteemed members of AKA and for all New Yorkers, I hope Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day of reflection, service, and celebration, and I hope that illuminating the skyline in AKA’s honor can be a point of pride and inspiration.”
Three other Durst-owned buildings around the city, at One Five One W. 42nd Street, One Bryant Park, and the Sven residential building on Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens also had their spires lit in pink and green through The Durst Organization’s Spireworks experience. Spearman expressed appreciation to Durst officials, Mayor Adams, and Speaker Adams for helping to make Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Founders’ Day such a memorable experience that AKA members will cherish.
Following the building lighting, Spearman and New York-based Alpha Kappa Alpha leaders, including former North Atlantic Regional Director Meredith L. Henderson, laid a wreath at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in honor of Sara M. Clark, a sorority member and Washington, DC teacher who died on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on that tragic day.
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. ®, North Atlantic Region: The North Atlantic Region (NAR) is the birthplace of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, an international service organization founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. Led by International President & CEO Danette Anthony Reed, AKA is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women and is comprised of more than 355,000 initiated members in graduate and undergraduate chapters in 11 countries. The NAR is comprised of 155 chapters throughout Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
About The Durst Organization: The Durst Organization, founded in 1915 by Joseph and Rose Durst, is the owner, manager, and builder of 13 million square feet of premier Manhattan office towers and over three million square feet of residential rental properties, with 3,400 rental apartments built and several thousand units in the pipeline. The Durst Organization is recognized as a world leader in the development of high-performance and environmentally advanced commercial and residential buildings where people live, work, and thrive. For more information, visit www.durst.org.