KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the nation witnessed the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, members of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, told 41 Action News how much it means to them.
Five members of Kansas City-area sorority chapters met on a Zoom call to talk about the historic day.
"Pride. Overwhelming emotion," said Twyla Woods-Buford, Midwestern regional director for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
"It's just a great moment for women, for Americans, and absolutely for Alpha Kappa Alpha,"said Tiffany Ford, president of the Xi Tau Omega chapter in Grandview.
Harris' inauguration means many things for many people.
"We are now pushing against the glass ceiling, and that's a wonderful experience," said Juana Hishaw, president of the Beta Omega chapter in Kansas City, Missouri.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is a historically Black sorority steeped in history. For her sorority sisters, seeing Harris inaugurated is putting into action what the nine founding members at Howard University aimed to achieve in 1908: to be of "service to all mankind."
"It's overwhelming, like when I watched the inauguration today I dropped some tears just knowing about the strides that Alpha Kappa Alpha women have made in history," said Jauqua Preston Wilkins, president of the Mu Omega Chapter in Kansas City, Kansas. "This is a great day and a new beginning, but we know we have a lot of work to do."
Harris pledged the sorority in her senior year at Howard University, the same college where the organization was founded.
Worldwide, it now has more than 300,000 members. The sorority prides itself on academic achievement, leadership, sisterhood and civic engagement.
"If you think of what it must have taken for nine young ladies in a college environment to step forward with the idea that 113 years later is still perpetuating this organization forward, sometimes it's more than you can comprehend," Woods-Buford said.
This group of women believes their founding members would be proud to see Harris make history and set an example for young women everywhere.
"Just by our vision and mission, they knew we would grow by strides and leaps and be in the forefront of whatever happened in the United States of America," said Sonya Scott, president of the Upsilon Rho Omega chapter in Overland Park.