Writer: LeKeisha Edwards
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. launches “For Members Only Federal Credit Union,” a digital financial institution for its more than 355,000 members.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. announced earlier this month the opening of “For Members Only Federal Credit Union,” which it said aims to help build generational wealth for Black women, promote social justice and uplift communities.
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution (@ajc) February 17, 2023
The first Black Greek letter sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. forges a new path towards building generational wealth and uplifting communities with the launch of “For Members Only Federal Credit Union,” a digital financial institution that will offer checking, savings, loan services, and other online banking products to the more than 355,000 members of the international sorority.
A recent report in The Atlanta Journal Constitution highlights the charter granted to the sorority by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) on February 3rd, with goals of being fully operational by the end of 2023.
“As the first Black-owned, woman-led, sorority-based (and) 100% digital financial institution, we are poised to deliver innovative financial solutions that drive economic growth for our members, chapters, families and employees of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,” notes AKA International President Danette Anthony Reed in a letter written to members and reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Founded on the campus of Howard University in 1908, and the oldest of the four major black sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s trailblazing move will further support a recent trend of African Americans asserting themselves in the banking and financial industry, creating new opportunities to help bridge the wealth gap. Like Atlanta rapper, business mogul, and activist, Killer Mike, and co-founders/business partners, Paul Judge and Ryan Glover, that collaborated to launch digital bank Greenwood in 2020, the For Members Only Federal Credit Union was created with Black and Latino consumers in mind to aid in improving financial opportunities for a demographic that has been historically underserved and marginalized.
In a recent press release by the NCUA, the federal agency notes that the “For Members Only” credit union will provide access to safe, fair, and affordable financial products and services, including digital services and products, to improve the economic and financial futures of their members, future members, and their communities. During the first year of operations, members will be offered savings and lending services, including:
-Share draft accounts
NCUA Chairman Todd M. Harper commented on the significant charter granted to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, saying, “It’s perfectly fitting that an organization whose members pledge to be of ‘Service to All Mankind’ has created a credit union. This charter is also in keeping with Alpha Kappa Alpha’s current initiatives to assist members in building economic wealth, promote social justice, and uplift communities, all of which are fundamental to the statutory mission of credit unions. Congratulations to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s leadership for bringing this effort to fruition. I look forward to watching their credit union grow and thrive.”
Other Black Greek-letter organizations that have previously ventured into starting credit unions include Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., with credit unions that launched in 1986. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. closed its credit union in 2010.
Notable members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority include Vice President Kamala Harris, actress Phylicia Rashad, renowned mathematician Katherine Johnson, and poet, dancer, activist and scholar Maya Angelou. With 1,061 chapters in 50 states and 11 countries, the sorority’s endeavor in building economic wealth to uplift communities through the digital credit union is a significant way to build upon its incredible legacy of service and meet the theme of its 2022-2026 administration, “Soaring to Greater Heights of Service and Sisterhood.”