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Alpha Kappa Alpha declares Jan. 20 ‘Kamala D. Harris Day’ to celebrate fellow member’s ‘historic moment’

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), the nation’s oldest African American Greek-lettered sorority, declared Wednesday “Kamala D. Harris Day” in honor of their member’s historic inauguration.

The sorority, which was founded in 1908 at Howard University, where Harris also attended, announced the declaration on Twitter. In the announcement, the sorority also urged members to “wear shades of pink” and their “favorite strand of pearls” to acknowledge the historic moment.

On Wednesday, members of the sorority took to Twitter to share pictures of themselves sporting the organization’s colors and a string of pearls in celebration of Harris’s achievement.

With her inauguration on Wednesday, Harris became the first woman, Black American and South Asian American to serve as the nation’s vice president.

But with her ties to historic Black institutions like the AKA and Howard University, one of the country’s most renowned historically Black universities (HBCU), Harris also became the first member of a historically African American Greek-lettered organization and the first graduate of an HBCU to fill the seat.

Harris was initiated into the sorority while attending Howard University in the 1980s, where she studied political science and economics. Harris has credited both institutions for playing a role in shaping her life.

Because of its nonprofit status, the sorority does not endorse political candidates. But during her historic run as the Democratic vice presidential nominee last year, Harris received support from some of her fellow sorority sisters who volunteered in their individual capacities as part of an effort to help install the California Democrat as VP.

In an interview with The Hill last year, Glenda Glover, international president of the AKA and president of Tennessee State University, another renowned HBCU, called then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s selection of Harris as his running mate a “full circle moment” for African American Greek organizations as well as for historically Black universities.

The decision, Glover said, spoke “volumes for Black women” and sent “a message to little Black girls, little Asian girls, little Indian girls, all little girls that if you see it, you could be it.”

The sorority is nearly 300,000 members strong and counts figures such as Ava DuVernay, Iyanla Vanzant and Jada Pinkett-Smith among its ranks.

According to The New York Times, former Michelle Obama had also agreed to join the organization in 2008 after it sought to make her an honorary member.

At the time, the sorority said the induction would prevent other “Divine Nine” fraternities and sororities from doing the same. But a spokesperson told the paper then that Obama’s membership was “non-exclusive” on account of “her respect for each of the historically Black sororities and fraternities.”

The sorority’s colors are pink and green. Members of the sorority also wear pearls, a fashion accessory Harris has often been seen sporting in her political career and also on Inauguration Day.

UPDATE: This story was updated at 5:38 p.m. to add more information about Michelle Obama’s membership in the sorority.

Tags Alpha Kappa Alpha Fraternities and sororities Joe Biden Michelle Obama

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