The AKA’s Make History as Nation’s First Sorority to Open Credit Union


The half-million member strong, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority made history this month with the official opening of its “For Members Only,” or FMO, credit union in Chicago. The “For Members Only,” or FMO, credit union is the first Black-owned, women-led, sorority-based digital banking financial institution in the history of the United States.

      Founded in 1908 at Howard University by college-educated African American women, the AKAs are one of America’s oldest service organizations with a membership that includes Vice President Kamala Harris, Phyllicia Rashad, Loretta Devine and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

      “Everyone doesn’t understand the impact we make financially, so you have to start doing things so folks know we know how to control our money,” said Danette Anthony Reed, international president and CEO of AKA Sorority.

      The credit union is based partially on the sorority’s six initiatives, including building and sustaining economic wealth. FMO federal credit union executive director Terri Bradford Eason stated: “Every member will be an owner of the credit union.” 

      The grand opening at the group’s international headquarters in Chicago was held as part of the  115-year-old sorority’s annual leadership conference.

      The FMO is chartered, regulated and insured by the National Credit Union Administration, and will offer primary savings, loans and other banking services during its first year of operations. It’s open to AKA members, their immediate families, AKA staff and credit union employees.

      “Every member will be an owner of the credit union,” said Terri Bradford Eason, FMO federal credit union executive director.

      The first-of-its-kind credit union is based in part on the sorority’s six initiatives, which include building economic wealth. Plans for the credit union began a few years ago with the idea to create economic health and financial stability for women of color.

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