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Hundreds of thousands of women celebrate Alpha Kappa Alpha Founders' Day

Alpha Kappa Alpha
Posted at 4:14 PM, Jan 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-16 16:14:38-05

CLEVELAND — Hundreds of thousands of women celebrated a special event this week.

Friday marked Founders' Day for the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and one of its most prominent members was honored as she prepares to take the second highest seat in the land.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris dedicated some time to mark the occasion with her sorority sisters Friday.

It was on the campus of Howard University, 113 years ago to the day, that 16 Black women came together to form what would become the first black Greek-letter sorority: Alpha Kappa Alpha.

"We didn't have the opportunity to do what our counterparts did,” said Sandra Brinson, President of the Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. here in Cleveland.

The sorority would eventually be a model for Black college women everywhere, helping to promote achievement and unity.

Today, Alpha Kappa Alpha stands over 300,000 members strong with chapters around the world both on and off college campuses.

Some of its most notable members past and present include Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Maya Angelou and now Harris.

“Our founders, with a blueprint for sisterhood, walked into the headwind of tradition with a vision for Black women in America and around the world. A vision for equal access to education. A vision for equality in healthcare and a vision for racial justice,” said Harris during a virtual celebration for the sorority Friday night.

“She made us all proud. It’s just a proud moment in America for us,” said Brinson.

Over the years, the vice president-elect has credited her success to her roots within the sorority and her time at Howard.

“There was nothing about what I achieved that was about me alone. It was about the support. It was about the encouragement,said Harris.

It’s the kind of support sorority members across the country will be reduced to give virtually on Inauguration Day.

“Even though we might be a little disappointed, we are concerned about the safety of not only her but the many other people that might be there. But I do know, if we were able to do it, there would be a sea of pink and green,” said Brinson.

Many sorority members tell News 5, they will be participating in virtual inauguration watch parties next week.