On Wednesday, the Rho Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. held a fundraiser in response to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
In 2014 Governor Rick Snyder and other Michigan officials in charge of budgeting in Flint decided to make cost-effective changes by switching the city’s water supply to the Flint River. What went amiss was that the Flint River water contained chemicals that worked to release lead in decades-old piping, causing increased – and in some cases – posionous amounts of lead to be ingested.
The Michigan state Department of Environmental Quality admitted that they should have taken measures to protect the river water from lead contamination before making the switch, according to an article published in the Detroit Free Press.
“Research shows lead exposure can affect a developing child's IQ, resulting in learning disabilities. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” CNN reported. The article went on to state that the mayor of Flint, Michigan needed $55 million to remove lead pipes to solve the toxic water crisis.
Alana Parker, a senior member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, stressed the importance of giving back at the fundraiser.
“Our main motivation is to give back – that’s what our organization stands for. It’s something we can do in our small part of New Jersey to give back to society,” said Parker.
Students who attended the event or donated to the cause were given a free water bottle and were able to tape up a paper bottle cut out with their name on it to further show their support for the issue.
“Government officials and people in power should not be taking shortcuts at the expense of the communities they’re supposed to be serving,” said Cara Sablowsky, sophomore.
Alpha Kappa Alpha’s determination does not stop with Wednesday’s event.
“We don’t have a deadline and we’re going to be continuously supporting the cause until they don’t need help anymore,” said Parker.
Alpha Kappa Alpha hopes to raise a few hundred dollars and will be accepting donations indefinitely. They have also reached out to other chapters and outside sources for donations.