Chicago, IL (BlackNews.com) - On June 28, over 50,000 members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will link arms in a synchronized ESP 1908 Global Centennial Walk to raise awareness about the importance of fitness. Stepping off at the same time, worldwide, the members will send a strong statement about the importance of Emotional, Spiritual and Physical health.
Leading the walk will be International President Barbara A. McKinzie, who will be joined by 50,000 members from nearly 1,000 chapters, as well as friends and families who recognize the significance of making one's health a priority.
Those participating include members from every region, as well as from Canada, Germany, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. The walk is being coordinated by AKA's International Program Committee, chaired by Loann Honesty King. In planning the in-sync walk, King declared that the walk is full of symbolism that revolves around the Sorority's Centennial.
"To commemorate the Sorority's founding year--1908--the contingent will walk a symbolic 1908 steps, which is approximately two miles," King said.
In setting to this historic walk, participants will all face in the direction of Washington, DC, where Alpha Kappa Alpha's Centennial convention takes place, July 11-18. After completing the two-mile walk, members will meet again at the Sorority's biennial convention on Sunday, July 13 in Washington. There, in another show of solidarity, members will walk 1908 steps to the Washington Convention Center. At the culmination of this event, President McKinzie will lead members into the Center and the historic Centennial convention will officially begin.
Joining the walk to the Convention Center on July 13 will be Dr. Ian Smith, medical/diet expert on VH1's highly-rated Celebrity Fit Club, host of Meet the Faith on BET and his own nationally syndicated radio show HealthWatch on American Urban Radio Networks. Smith is also creator and founder of State Farm's "50 Million Pound Challenge," of which Alpha Kappa Alpha is a Challenge Champion. A vocal health advocate, he is expected to inspire the members with his rallying cry to lose weight and stay fit.
McKinzie explained that the Emotional, Spiritual and Physical walk adapts the ESP theme, the current administration's programmatic focus. This initiative specifically embraces Platform Five, which deals with Health Resource Management and Economics.
Declared McKinzie, "To reach that stratosphere of satisfaction where one is physically and mentally fit and poised to embrace all of life's rewards and challenges requires a balance of emotional intelligence, optimal psychology and spirituality. Studies prove that when all of these elements are in divine order, physical health, relationships and life satisfaction will be the result. This walk achieves that lofty purpose."
King extended an invitation to the worldwide community to join Alpha Kappa Alpha in making a statement on this momentous occasion.
Said King, "There is a connection between Emotional, Spiritual and Physical health. With women being afflicted by an array of ailments that can be mitigated through attention to the ESP elements that this walk symbolizes, we hope to send a signal that we are committed to taking care of our total health. Ultimately, when we are Emotionally, Spiritually and Physically fit, we are in a better position to serve our family, community and the world!"
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is America's first Greek-letter organization founded in 1908 by, and for, African-American college women. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, it is one of the world's leading service organizations. The Sorority's members have made a commitment "to serve all mankind" through a nucleus of more than 200,000 women in over 975 chapters in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan and in the continent of Africa. Barbara A. McKinzie is the 27th International President. Because her term coincides with the 100-year anniversary, she is being hailed as the "Centennial National President." McKinzie's administration is marked by the theme: ESP, which stands for Economics, Service and Partnership. For more information, log on to www.aka1908.com. For an archive of press releases, visit the online pressroom at http://aka1908.com/site/pressroom/