Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Barbie Becomes An AKA?

The nation's oldest black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, celebrates its 100th anniversary this month with serious goals and something just for fun.
A collectible Barbie has been created by California-based Mattel Inc. to honor the organization and its history of service.

The new Barbie's design will be revealed at the Chicago-based sorority's anniversary celebration next week in Washington, D.C., the site of its founding.
"When you pair that milestone with an organization representing an amazing cross section of women who are empowered leaders in any field, it's a real opportunity to introduce the hobby of collecting to a new group of collectors," said Elizabeth Grampp, director of Barbie collector marketing.

The doll will be dressed in an evening gown featuring the Alpha Kappa Alpha colors pink and green. It will be available for about $50 through Barbie Web sites and catalogs and through the sorority.

Founded in 1908 by Howard University students, the organization has about 1,000 chapters around the world.

Over the years, its prominent inductees included Hull House founder Jane Adams, civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, author Maya Angelou and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The sorority's new focus on investment and financial literacy is an initiative of president Barbara McKinzie, finance director at Chicago's Neighborhood Housing Services.
"Economics is the central focus of everything we do," McKinzie said. "My vision was to make economics as much of a core competency as service has been to Alpha Kappa Alpha for the 100 years."


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