Chapter History

Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated has served a pivotal role in the Harlem community since its chartering in 1922. On April 22, 1922 Lambda Chapter was chartered in New York City by Louise McDonald Gaither, Ruth L. Roberts, Florence Thomas, Dorothy Peterson and Edith Wright. The chapter was comprised of both undergraduate and graduate members until 1925 when Tau Omega chapter, Lambda’s graduate chapter,  was formed. It is the oldest chapter in Cluster III of the North Atlantic Region. As the New York City citywide Chapter, Lambda has distinguished itself as a premier undergraduate chapter representing Barnard College, Baruch College, Columbia University, Hunter College, New York University (NYU), The City College of New York, and Touro College. 

From its inception, Lambda members realized their obligation to the Harlem community.

As a group of Black educated women, they knew that they could stimulate old, and organize new programs for the benefit of the Black community. Lambda engages within the New York City area in ways that work to inspire and expose the talents of the youth within our  communities. Lambda’s efforts are evident through its signature service programs, like the Annual Pink Carpet Affair Fashion Show in support of Susan G. Komen and the Alzheimer’s Association as well as the GIRL POWER workshops designed to empower young girls. Recent programs have included financial literacy workshops, symposiums on High-Achieving Students of Color and Mental Health, violence prevention workshops, the annual Easter Egg Hunt for Children, fitness activities, and health fairs.

Each year Lambda has continually won Regional accolades that speak to the caliber and dynamism of the Chapter and its extraordinary members, who have gone on to represent the Chapter on the Sorority’s international governing boards. In the Chapter’s history, Lambda has been the home to many renowned members: Sonia Sanchez, Virginia Johnson, and J. Marjory Jackson (Author of the Alpha Kappa Alpha National Hymn). Lambda Chapter has been awarded numerous Regional accolades including “Chapter of the Year Award” in 2005, “First Place Chapter President Award” in 2008, “First Place Chapter Exhibit Award” in 2009, “Third Place Chapter of the Year” in 2010, the MISS AKA “Collaborative Community Award“, the “Legacy Continues Award” in 2016 and 2017, “Officer of the Year Award” in 2017 and many others. 

The following Former Lambda members have been appointed or elected to serve on the International Board of Directors (Directorate) for the Sorority: C. Vivien Carter (Northeastern Organizer – 1923 to 1925), Portia Wiley Nickens (Northeastern Regional Director 1925 to 1927, Thelma E. Berlack Boozer (Editor-in-Chief, IVY LEAF – 1927 to 1929, North Atlantic Regional Director – 1929 to 1933), Louise J. McDonald Gaither (First International Vice-President – 1941 to 1946), Aloncita J. Flood (North Atlantic Regional Director – 1962 to 1966), Patricia Era Bath (Second International Vice President– 1962 to 1964), Daria Ibn-Tamas (Second International Vice-President– 1996 to 1998) and Gloria Harper Dickinson (International Secretary 1998-2002, International Regional  Director 2006-2008).  

With over ninety-eight years of activism and community involvement, Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated demonstrates the commitment to the values upon which the sorority was founded with its continued service to all mankind in a way that can only be described as legendary.