Exhibit Dates: Aug. 11 - Sep. 16, 2023
Exhibit Location: MLK Library, Floor 1, Great Hall, West
This exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, the first graduate chapter to be chartered in Washington, DC. By sharing this historic milestone, the chapter will highlight its legacy and presence throughout the local community during 2023. The exhibit features 4 freestanding panel displays with photographs and text highlighting members and services over the years, with QR codes to new video interviews.
Curated by Xi Omega Chapter members, the exhibit was selected through the MLK Library's first Open Call for Exhibit Proposals in fall 2022. Learn more about the next Open Call in Fall 2023 on the Public Art & Exhibits page, under "Apply."
Visit this page for updates about upcoming programs, and to find out more about the AKA Xi Omega Centennial celebration on the organization's website.
Read More About Xi Omega's Legacy
Xi Omega: A Legacy of Service for 100 Years to the Washington Community
The year was 1923. Washington DC was a segregated southern city. People of color were relegated to substandard housing and no health care. Police brutality was commonplace with no recourse. Twenty women, college educated, most of them teachers and nurses, said, we have seen enough. We must do
something to help our people. And so, on December 23, 923 twenty women chartered Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. This is the beginning of a “Legacy of Service for 100 years to the Washington, DC community.”
One of Xi Omega’s longest running programs of service is Monday Activities. For more than 42 years, every Monday, the doors of Xi Omega are literally and figuratively opened to seniors, currently ranging in age from 55 to 102 years old, for arts and crafts, sign language class, aerobics, bridge, memory stimulating games, Spanish class, and free lunch.
Xi Omega’s long history of organized social activism began in the 1930s when the chapter worked to assure decent living conditions for people of color, eliminate police brutality and establish home rule. In the 1940s-chapter members participated in nonviolent demonstrations, marches and sit-ins. The
struggle is ongoing, yet the women of Xi Omega have never run away from a righteous cause. The chapter holds voter registration drives, voter forums and transports voters to the polls ever year. Xi Omega Chapter has also been recognized by the DC Government for its successful series of consumer
advocacy seminars on effective buying strategies and ways to avoid impulse buying.
Xi Omega Chapter’s economic investment in the Washington Community extended to real estate ownership. In 1956 the chapter purchased property at 1751 New Hampshire Avenue N.W. to hold chapter meetings, offer housing for graduate students and rental space for events. This was a phenomenal achievement for black women in 1950s America. When we outgrew the property 25 years later, Xi Omega Chapter purchased the Xi Omega Center at 4411-14th Street N.W., where we are active members of the 14th Street Community. For the past 41years, Xi Omega has continued to meet and operate its programs and services from this location.
From 20 charter members in 1923 to 680 members today, the women of Xi Omega Chapter have worked diligently as educators, lawyers, doctors, business owners, public servants, librarians, curators, and political leaders in the Washington DC community. It is this legacy of service and history that the chapter is celebrating and showcasing throughout 2023.
Xi Omega Celebrates Its Women Trailblazers: Past and Present
Presented by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® (AKA), Xi Omega Chapter
Please join us for a very special panel discussion and reception, in conjunction with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, Xi Omega Chapter: Centennial Travelling Exhibit, currently on view in the MLK Library, First Floor.
In collaboration with the DCPublic Library, Xi Omega Chapter is proud to present: Xi Omega Trailblazers: Past, Present, and Future. In a Town Hall style setting, moderated by our own Jummy Olabanji, News4 Anchor, you will hear from one of the youngest elected US Congresswomen, Representative Lauren Underwood; Executive Staff of the National Cathedral, the Rev. Canon Rosemarie Duncan, newly sworn in D. C. Superior Court Judge, Kendra Briggs, and a special video presentation by Marvel Film Animator, Anedra Edwards.
A public reception and moderated conversation will take place on September 12, 2023, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Great Hall and New Books Division, with participation from the National Women's History Museum. Registration is recommended for this event.
Come and invite others to meet and greet our featured trailblazers and learn more about Xi Omega Chapter and other trailblazers of today and through the years.