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Community Advocacy Organization

St. Louis AKAs are building a Museum to Honor the Nation’s Black Women

A three-story house in North St. Louis, Missouri is about to become a museum honoring African-American women.

The vacant house at 2844 St. Louis Avenue happens to be the family home of Ethel Hedgemon Lyle, the founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) the nation’s first African-American sorority.

Organizers say the museum will be the first phase of a broader plan from the Gamma Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha to revitalize a neighborhood impacted by years of disinvestment.

“For over a hundred years, we have been providing service to mankind,” said Tracey Clark Jefferies, referencing the sorority’s mission. “Now the community will know where to find us.”

Gamma Omega, the St. Louis chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the sorority’s nonprofit, the Ivy Alliance Foundation, are spearheading the $4 million effort to open the museum and build an adjacent 12,000-square-foot community center that will offer job assistance and skills training.

The AKAs are kicking off the effort with a public land dedication ceremony at the site at 2 pm today.

Concept graphic courtesy of Ivy Alliance Foundation

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