The 8 remarkable women chosen are Tracee Ellis Ross, Robin Roberts, Ruth E. Carter, Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Erivo, Alice Walker, Ursula M. Burns, Debra Martin Chase!
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. announced its 2021 honorary members today, and the list is full of flourishing black women. The 8 women chosen are well known, with decades of accomplishments that span industries in sports, cinema, plays, music, reporting, costume design, and writing. In fact, there is at least one Tony Award, Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Award, WNBA MVP Award, and Pulitzer Prize among these women!
Tracee Ellis Ross is notably known for her acting roles in the T.V. show Girlfriends, which ran for 8 seasons, and Black-ish, which has run for 7 seasons. She has also worked extensively in modeling, singing, hosting, producing, and directing.
Robin Roberts is a renowned television broadcaster and entrepreneur. She’s anchored ABC’s Good Morning America, which has won 4 Emmys, for years even despite a harrowing breast cancer diagnosis. She also was a sportscaster on ESPN for over a decade. Always multi-talented, Roberts attended Southeastern Louisiana University, where she graduated cum laude and was inducted into its Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Robert’s late mother, Lucimarian Roberts, attended Howard University and is also a member of AKA.
Ruth E. Carter is an Oscar-winning television and film costume designer. Carter, who graduated from Hampton University, has almost 70 credits to her name including classics like Black Panther, B.A.P.S., and Coming 2 America. Her ability to master required different looks has lead to her becoming the first-ever costume designer to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
Lisa Leslie is a former professional basketball player in the WNBA. She is a studio analyst for Orlando Magic broadcasts. She is a three-time WNBA MVP winner, as well as a four-time Olympic gold medal winner, and professional Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Leslie was also the first-ever player to dunk in a WNBA game.
Cynthia Erivo is an accomplished singer who has acted in film, television, and on Broadway. She is one award away from becoming a rare EGOT winner (a person who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). She won a Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Award for her Broadway role in The Color Purple. She has been Oscar-nominated for her performance as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet” and another for co-writing song “Stand Up,” on the film’s soundtrack.
Alice Walker is a novelist, writer, poet, and activist. You can say she helped Cynthia Erivo reach her near-EGOT status, as Walker wrote best-selling novel The Color Purple. For that work, she won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for hardcover fiction.
Ursula M. Burns an accomplished executive who made history at the Xerox Corporation by becoming the first Black woman who served as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Initially joining Xerox as an intern, Burns seved as chairman and CEO of Xerox, both for 7 years.
Debra Martin Chase is the first Black female producer to ink an overall deal at any major Hollywood studio. She has executive-produced the Cheetah Girls, Courage Under Fire, the documentary Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream and more!
According to an official Instagram post by AKA, the women “join an international sisterhood of more than 300,000 members across the globe who are committed to service to all mankind.”