By Ruby Bridgeforth and Dr. Helen Johnson
On July 14, 2022, Alumni who pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. through the Alpha Rho Chapter at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff were in attendance when Vice President Kamala Harris graced the podium to greet 25,000 of her sorority sisters in person and online at the 70th Boule of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority inc. At this historical event, many delegates were present who joined this sisterhood through Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Vice President Harris received a standing ovation when she entered, and the applause continued for several minutes.
They also cheered as she exclaimed her pride in the appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. After 115 justices and over 200 years of the Court’s existence, a Black woman has finally been appointed and is now serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. Both Judge Brown and Vice President Harris are an inspiration to Black women in America and all over the world.
Vice President Harris charged us to be vigilant in our efforts this fall as we go to the polls, register others to vote and support our local and national democratic political action committees. She stressed the numerous challenges at stake this fall. As Alumni, we need to be informed of national and local issues and take a stand because our rights are at risk. From bodily autonomy to voting rights, our hard-won freedoms are being struck down at an unprecedented rate.
Women’s rights – The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health, announced on June 24th, overturned Roe v. Wade. It ended the right of reproductive choice for women. This is especially devastating to the freedom of Black women. Although a woman’s right to control her own reproduction continues to exist in some state laws, 26 states have already put laws in place to completely end a woman’s right to choose.
Social justice NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement that Jayland Walker’s death wasn’t self-defense, but “murder. Point blank.” “This Black man was killed – struck more than 60 times by 90 fired bullets – for a possible traffic violation. This doesn’t happen to white people in America. Why do police continuously target us like domestic terrorists? We are just trying to live our lives, and we are tired of being hunted like prey,” said Johnson, according to The Guardian.
As Rep. Hugley exclaimed, ‘The right to vote is our greatest weapon!” We need to use it wisely. We can all do something. Start by contacting your local NAACP or other local organizations. This is a serious matter! We need to be prepared and ready to make our voices heard. Let me hear you roar!