VOICES: Harris proves impossible is possible

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African-American sorority, of which Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is a member, assemble at the Adam Clayton Jr. State Office Building in the Harlem neighborhood of New York on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7, 2020. They celebrated Harris’s history-making vice presidency and performed a line dance. (Gregg Vigliotti/The New York Times)
Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African-American sorority, of which Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is a member, assemble at the Adam Clayton Jr. State Office Building in the Harlem neighborhood of New York on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7, 2020. They celebrated Harris’s history-making vice presidency and performed a line dance. (Gregg Vigliotti/The New York Times)

Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: This guest opinion column by Carrie J. Clark, the Great Lakes Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., appeared on the Ideas and Voices page Sunday, Nov. 15. Other local columns published that day are linked below.

Thirty days ago, we could only dream and hope for the possibility that an African American woman could hold the second highest office in the land. But here we are.

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It shows what’s finally possible for women, for women of color, and specifically for African American women. Among the millions of American women who look at the historic election of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as glass ceiling-shattering, there are more than 300,000 who have extra special pride in her ascension.

Carrie J. Clark is the Great Lakes Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The region consists of Ohio, Michigan, Western New York, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Carrie J. Clark is the Great Lakes Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The region consists of Ohio, Michigan, Western New York, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Credit: Victor Powell

Credit: Victor Powell

We are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first sorority formed in 1908 by college-educated African American women at Howard University, Harris' alma mater. Vice President-elect Harris is one of our esteemed members and is emblematic of the excellence that we embrace and embody every day.

We are extremely proud that a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha will be among the nation’s top elected leadership to guide and govern this country and to work to continue to position our nation as a beacon of opportunity for millions of immigrants.

As Great Lakes Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, my job is to encourage, uplift and mobilize the 5,500 members to execute the Sorority’s international programs in our communities. Excellence can be taught at a young age, so that is why Vice President-elect Harris' story and experience speaks so strongly to millions of young girls and people of color whose preparation for a higher calling should be acknowledged, encouraged and celebrated.

A graduate of a HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), Vice President-elect Harris experienced the best life lessons taught at HBCUs, such as Wilberforce University and Central State University, and parlayed her experience to achieve what some thought was impossible.

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That is the message today. The impossible is possible. And Vice President-elect Harris' ascension unlocks new possibilities for women of color throughout this nation.

In Alpha Kappa Alpha, our current theme is Exemplifying Excellence through Sustainable Service. We saw that in the Great Lakes Region during the campaign. While Alpha Kappa Alpha does not endorse or support candidates, we do strongly encourage get out the vote efforts.

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Our AKA regional Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort was led by former judge and Daytonian Frances McGee Cromartie who shared virtual and contact-less voter registration activities that demonstrated that our GOTV effort was “a serious matter.” And we can’t forget the other members of the Divine Nine, which are the historically black greek letter organizations, who worked tirelessly this election season, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, to make sure people in our communities were registered to vote and then voted.

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Now that there are new possibilities, the work has just begun. Our members of Alpha Kappa Alpha will be there ensuring democracy is exercised to its maximum potential and to make sure young girls remember this election and remember that hopes and dreams are now possible.

Carrie J. Clark is the Great Lakes Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The region consists of Ohio, Michigan, Western New York, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Guest columns are submitted or requested fact-based opinion pieces typically of 300 to 450 words.

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