Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alpha Kappa Alpha Behaving Badly

Alpha Kappa Alpha is the oldest female black greek letter organization. For over a century the members of this sorority have lived by the motto "By culture and by merit". But the embattled International President (Supreme Basileus), Barbara Mckinzie (pictured here), has described the law suit filed against her and the members of the board of directors (the directorate) as "without merit".

Eight members of the sorority filed a law suit in the Washington DC Superior court against the leaders of their own organization. They allege that Mckinizie spent $900,000 on wax statues of herself and founding member Nellie Quander, to be displayed in the Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. They accuse Mckinizie of using the sorority's American Express card to purchase personal clothing, jewelry, gym equipment and more. They further charge that Mckinzie, in violation of AKA rules, arranged with the board to be paid a "stipend" after her term of office is over in 2010. The payments in the amount of $4,000 a month, are to be paid over the next four years. Acoording to the "weeping ivy" Mckinzie has already received half a million dollars in "retirement" checks. The dissenters are raising money to pay legal expenses under the name Friends of the Weeping Ivy.

I don't know all the facts. For all I know Mckinizie could be as guilty of wrong doing as Bernie Maddoff. I am not defending her or the members of AKA' s board. But as a member of several fraternal, social and civic organizations I am certain that there are internal ways to handle these kinds of problems. One of them is called the annual convention. These kinds of conflicts should be addressed in the privacy of a hotel ball room. Redress for these kinds of complaints should only be aired on the convention floor with members in good standing and in possession of credentials and possibly a password.
This is an internal matter ladies. Please stop airing your dirty laundry in public. This public law suit tarnishes the legacy that you promised to perpetuate.

I hope that First Lady Michelle Obama, who accepted an invitation to join as an honorary member (there was not an active chapter on campus when she was an undergraduate at Princeton) does not change her mind about affiliating due to this scandal.

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