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Vice President Kamala Harris, Alpha Kappa Alpha | mazi + zo sorority jewelry

The first woman Vice President of the United States of America!

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha chapter at Howard University

“I am ever hopeful that if the court has a blind spot today, its eyes will be open tomorrow.”

Article: Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris is a trailblazer, and her membership in the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority played a pivotal role in shaping her into the powerful leader she is today. 

Born in Oakland, California to immigrant parents from India and Jamaica, Harris was raised with a strong sense of justice and community service. Her mother, Shyamala, instilled in her the importance of fighting for equality and standing up for what's right. Harris joined AKA when she attended the prestigious Howard University, which is where AKA was founded. 

As an AKA member, Harris participated in various community service initiatives, honing her leadership skills and developing a deep commitment to public service. The sorority's emphasis on academic excellence and personal growth also played a crucial role in shaping her intellectual curiosity and drive for success. Harris’s sorority sisters remember Harris as a calm presence and nicknamed her “3C” for “cool, calm, and collected”.

After graduating from Howard, Harris remained connected with her AKA sisters as an alumna, drawing strength and inspiration from their unwavering support. She attended UC Hastings College of the Law and earned her degree in 1989. Harris joined the Alameda County District Attorney's Office as a prosecutor, where she specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases. 

In 1998, she was hired by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office as the Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit, prosecuting three-strikes cases and serial felony offenders. From 2000 to 2003, Harris served as the head of the San Francisco City Attorney's Division on Families and Children, focusing on child abuse and neglect cases. 

In 2003, Harris was elected as the District Attorney of San Francisco, becoming the first African American woman to hold that position. She was re-elected in 2007 and served until 2011. As the San Francisco DA from 2004 to 2010, Harris pioneered programs designed to reduce recidivism, including "Back on Track" , a program that offered first-time drug offenders job training and other support upon release from prison.

When Harris was elected California's Attorney General at the end of 2010, she became the first African American and first woman to hold that position. In that role, she took on powerful banks that took advantage of California homeowners with improper mortgage practices and won a $20 billion settlement for the homeowners. Harris also refused to defend Proposition 8, the controversial ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California, paving the way for the resumption of same-sex marriages in the state. Her legacy as Attorney General was fighting for the little guy and protecting civil rights

Throughout her professional journey, Harris’s AKA roots remained a constant source of empowerment. As she broke barriers after barrier, becoming the first South Asian American senator, her AKA sisters celebrated her achievements with pride. 

As a senator, Harris made her mark by serving on influential committees like the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Select Committee on Intelligence. She was a fierce advocate for issues like healthcare reform, pushing for a single-payer system to increase accessibility. Harris also introduced legislation to improve access to outdoor recreation in urban areas and provide financial relief for rising housing costs. She rose to national prominence when she grilled Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

When Joe Biden's selected Harris for his running mate in the 2020 presidential election, her AKA sisters rallied behind her. They organized virtual events, fundraisers, and voter mobilization efforts, leveraging the sorority's nationwide network to amplify Harris’s message and get out the vote. When Vogue featured Harris on their February 2021 cover, she posed with an AKA pink and apple green backdrop as a tribute to the sorority.

Kamala Harris's journey is a testament to the power of sisterhood and the transformative impact of organizations like AKA. Her membership in this meaningful sorority not only shaped her values and leadership skills but also provided her with a lifelong network of powerful, ambitious women who continue to uplift and inspire one another.