KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., watched along with the world as Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President of the United States Wednesday.
The first woman--and first Black woman--to serve as Vice President is also a member of the very first Black sorority.
"It was a very, very proud moment as a Black person and an extremely proud moment as a woman of Alpha Kappa Alpha even more so," said Jamie Gordon, president of the Theta Chi Omega chapter in Grand Rapids. "It was really, really emotional; it was kind of surreal. I'm a '60s baby; I never thought I'd see a Black president, let alone a Black female vice president."
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded on the campus of Howard University--Harris's alma mater--in 1908.
Members say they're excited to see the impact she will have on the community, and especially the young girls they mentor.
"They now know, and they see where they can go, how far we can go in this world," said Jacquie Harris, graduate advisor of the Theta Chi Omega chapter.
AKAs in West Michigan and across the country were instrumental in mobilizing the Black vote, by working alongside other members of historically Black fraternities and sororities of the "Divine 9."
"Although we're in different organizations, we have to remember that we are stronger together; we have the same mission," said Kenisha Dorsey, vice president of the Theta Chi Omega chapter. "So, we were out there in the streets together as one, registering individuals."
It paid off, propelling Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to win Michigan and eventually the election.
Watching Harris being inaugurated Wednesday shows the world, and these local sorority sisters, that anything is possible.
"It speaks volumes to those young girls, who are looking up and seeing and thinking about what they want to do with their lives and how they want to impact the world," said Gordon. "This lets them know that they can do anything, beyond measure. There is no more glass ceiling; it has been shattered."
To learn more about the Theta Chi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., click here.