On Monday, electors gather in each state and cast their votes for president and vice president. It will be a major step for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their way to the White House.
Harris will become the country's first Black vice president and first woman in that role. She will also be the first graduate of a historically Black college or university, and the first member of a Black sorority to be elected vice president.
The members of that sorority, the Alpha Kappa Alpha, have been ecstatic from coast to coast.
Dana McDonald is the president of the AKA chapter in Hartford.
Monique Biggs is a member of that chapter.
McDonald said Harris paying tribute to Black women in her first speech as vice president-elect was “historic.”
Dana McDonald: Now, young women and girls can see reflections of themselves occupying the second-highest office in the land. Just the pride and a renewed sense of hope — it's just completely indescribable for me.
Michael Lyle Jr., NEPM: Can this historic election lead to an increase in membership locally and nationally among young African American women? And have you seen an increased interest in Hartford from sisters who through the years may have stopped being as active, but now are more involved, since the election brought so much focus on the AKA?
Monique Biggs: I can't speak to whether or not that election has brought more interest to women wanting to be involved in the AKA. But I definitely can say the awareness and the impact of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority is — if it wasn't something that people were familiar with prior to the election, they definitely are aware of now.
I think there's just been more opportunity for visibility for women and young girls to know that there are places and organizations that have influence, and support Black women in particular in leadership roles.
What does it mean that a Black woman and an AKA will soon be one of the most powerful people in the country — or does that all depend on what she does with that power and what issues she raises?
Dana McDonald: We are, as Black women — as people, period — we are definitely judged by what we do, versus who we are, and our titles. But, you know, I'd be lying to you if I said that I didn't have a heightened expectation there that she will definitely do more to bring awareness, and to bring resolution, to a lot of issues that affect Black women, and women in general.
Thousands of AKA members are beaming with joy over this historic nomination. How much do you think the other Black sororities wish they could be in a similar position at the moment?
Monique Biggs: I think getting Vice President-elect Kamala Harris [elected] was an effort that, across the Divine Nine organization, as a whole, we all contributed to. So I think, although she is an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman, she is also a member of the Divine Nine.
So I think that collectively, there may be other sororities who share in the same excitement, regardless of their Greek affiliation.