Kamala Harris made history in various forms on Jan. 20, including being the first Black/Southeast Asian woman to become Vice President of the United States as well as the first HBCU graduate to hold the role. Harris is a graduate of Howard University, famously known as “The Mecca” for consistently producing Black talent and excellence. One of the most important organizations Harris joined during her undergraduate years at Howard that would later help her win her campaign is Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded in 1908 with a mission to: cultivate and encourage high scholastic and ethical standards; to promote unity and friendship among college women; to study and help alleviate problems concerning girls and women in order to improve their social stature; to maintain a progressive interest in college life; and to be of “Service to All Mankind.” The sorority has become so well known that it has been able to trademark Ivy Leaf magazine, its hand sign, and sorority call. The current President, Glenda Baskin Glover, stated in a 2020 interview with CBS news that the sorority experience teaches leadership skills and pushes the movement to train young ladies to become leaders.
As the year continues, it is important to note that not only this sorority, but all Black Greek Lettered Organizations (BGLOs), have a day planned where they come together to advocate for various issues on Capitol Hill. These days are important as BGLOs have consistently had members elected and appointed to different offices, whether it is at the county, state, or federal level. While BGLOs have a non-profit status, meaning that they are not able to endorse a specific candidate, BGLOs are able to organize, whether it’s voter registration drives, panels, community service, or leadership conferences.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Members in Congress
- Alma Adams
- Bonnie Coleman
- Sheila Jackson Lee
- Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Terri Sewell
- Lauren Underwood
- Nikema Georgia
- Frederica Wilson
A quick education search in Leadership Connect’s D.C. communities shows 689 Howard University graduates as well.