Alpha Kappa Alpha vs Delta Sigma Theta: Difference and Comparison

Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) and Delta Sigma Theta (DST) are both prestigious sororities founded on principles of scholarship, sisterhood, and service, with AKA prioritizing leadership and refinement, while DST emphasizes social action and advocacy, yet both foster strong bonds of sisterhood and community impact, distinguishing themselves through unique traditions and contributions to society.

Key Takeaways

  1. Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta are historically black sororities founded in the early 20th century.
  2. Alpha Kappa Alpha promotes education, culture, and economic empowerment, while Delta Sigma Theta prioritizes political and social activism.
  3. Membership in both sororities is highly selective and based on a rigorous screening process that includes academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership potential.

Alpha Kappa Alpha vs. Delta Sigma Theta

The difference between alpha kappa alpha and delta sigma theta is that alpha kappa alpha follows the principle of “service and culture.” In contrast, delta sigma theta follows the principle of “intelligence is the torch of wisdom.”

Alpha Kappa Alpha vs Delta Sigma Theta

Comparison Table

FeatureAlpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)Delta Sigma Theta (DST)
Founding DateJanuary 15, 1908January 13, 1913
ColorsPink and GreenCrimson and Cream
Motto“Sisterly Love, Service, and Finer Womanhood”“Intelligence, Service, Sisterhood”
Philanthropic FocusEducational enrichment, economic empowerment, health awarenessEconomic development, educational enrichment, physical and mental health
Number of Chapters304 undergraduate chapters, 979 graduate chapters284 undergraduate chapters, 1,000+ graduate chapters
Membership SizeOver 300,000 initiated membersOver 300,000 initiated members
Notable MembersMaya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, Barbara Jordan, Toni MorrisonMarian Wright Edelman, Shirley Chisholm, Alicia Keys, Kamala Harris

What is Alpha Kappa Alpha?

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), is the first African American Greek-lettered sorority. Founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by a group of visionary women led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, AKA has since grown into a global sisterhood with over 300,000 members and 1,024 chapters.

History and Founding

AKA was established at a time when African American women faced limited opportunities for higher education and professional advancement. Ethel Hedgeman Lyle and her companions sought to create a support network and platform for academic achievement, service to their communities, and the promotion of sisterhood.

Core Values and Principles

  1. Service: AKA is deeply committed to service and has a long history of engaging in philanthropic endeavors, community outreach, and social activism.
  2. Sisterhood: AKA places great emphasis on sisterhood, fostering bonds of friendship, support, and empowerment among its members.
  3. Scholarship: Academic excellence is a cornerstone of AKA, with members encouraged to pursue higher education and intellectual growth.
  4. Leadership: AKA cultivates leadership skills in its members, empowering them to become change-makers and role models in their communities.
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Notable Programs and Initiatives

  1. Target I: Educational Enrichment: AKA sponsors various educational programs aimed at promoting literacy, STEM education, and college readiness among youth.
  2. Target II: Health Promotion: AKA focuses on health advocacy and awareness, addressing issues such as heart health, mental wellness, and access to healthcare.
  3. Target III: Family Strengthening: AKA supports initiatives that strengthen families and address social and economic challenges facing underserved communities.
  4. Target IV: Environmental Ownership: AKA promotes environmental sustainability and community beautification efforts.

Symbolism and Traditions

AKA’s colors are salmon pink and apple green, and its symbol is the ivy leaf. The sorority’s motto, “By Culture and By Merit,” reflects its commitment to academic excellence and personal growth. AKA’s signature programs, such as the Pink Ice Gala and the Ivy Beyond the Wall ceremony, are cherished traditions that celebrate sisterhood and honor the legacy of its members.

What is Delta Sigma Theta?

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (DST), is a prominent African American Greek-lettered sorority founded on January 13, 1913, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was established by 22 collegiate women led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, who envisioned an organization committed to sisterhood, scholarship, and service.

History and Founding

DST was founded during a time of social and political upheaval for African Americans in the United States. Its founders sought to create a sisterhood that would not only uplift its members but also address social injustices and advocate for civil rights. The sorority quickly grew, spreading its influence across the country and eventually internationally.

Core Values and Principles

  1. Sisterhood: DST places a strong emphasis on sisterhood, fostering bonds of friendship, support, and empowerment among its members.
  2. Scholarship: Academic excellence is a fundamental principle of DST, with members encouraged to pursue higher education and intellectual growth.
  3. Service: DST is committed to service and social action, engaging in various philanthropic endeavors and community outreach initiatives to address pressing societal issues.
  4. Advocacy: DST advocates for social justice, equality, and the advancement of marginalized communities, utilizing its platform to effect positive change.

Notable Programs and Initiatives

  1. Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: DST’s programs are structured around five key areas: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement. Through these initiatives, DST addresses a wide range of social, economic, and health-related issues.
  2. Delta GEMS: This program aims to empower young women by providing educational and mentoring opportunities, promoting self-esteem, and encouraging academic achievement.
  3. Delta Academy: Delta Academy focuses on the educational enrichment of young girls, offering mentorship, tutoring, and workshops to help them succeed academically and develop leadership skills.
  4. Social Action: DST is actively involved in social and political advocacy, campaigning for voter registration, advocating for legislative change, and participating in community organizing efforts.
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Symbolism and Traditions

DST’s colors are crimson and cream, and its symbol is the torch. The sorority’s motto, “Intelligence is the Torch of Wisdom,” reflects its commitment to education and enlightenment. DST’s signature events, such as the Delta Torchbearers Luncheon and the Delta Days at the Nation’s Capital, celebrate the achievements of its members and highlight the sorority’s ongoing commitment to social justice and community service.

Main Differences Between Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta

  • Founding:
    • AKA was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University, making it the first African American Greek-lettered sorority.
    • DST was founded on January 13, 1913, also at Howard University, following a different group of women and with a focus on social justice and civil rights advocacy.
  • Emphasis on Service:
    • AKA emphasizes service, scholarship, and leadership, with a strong focus on educational enrichment programs and community outreach.
    • DST also values service but places a particular emphasis on social action and advocacy, engaging in initiatives that address systemic issues and promote political awareness.
  • Programmatic Thrust:
    • AKA’s programs are structured around cultivating leadership, promoting education, and addressing health and wellness issues.
    • DST’s programs are organized around five-point programmatic thrusts, which include economic development, educational development, international awareness, physical and mental health, and political awareness.
  • Symbolism and Traditions:
    • AKA’s colors are salmon pink and apple green, and its symbol is the ivy leaf. It emphasizes refinement and cultural enrichment in its traditions.
    • DST’s colors are crimson and cream, with the torch as its symbol. It is known for its commitment to social justice and its advocacy work, reflected in its traditions and events.
References
  1. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=5970294
  2. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=5600172
  3. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ322971

Last Updated : 29 February, 2024

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4 thoughts on “Alpha Kappa Alpha vs Delta Sigma Theta: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I’ve always found incredibly interesting how different sororities have such different focuses and activities, each one emphasizing different values and principles

    Reply
    • Indeed, it’s so interesting to see how the historical context and founding principles have influenced the key differences in focus and mission of each sorority

      Reply

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