Remarks by Vice President Harris During Visit with Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, my sorors! (Applause.) Oh, please have a seat. Please have a seat. Oh, I’m so — I’m just so happy that we were able to make this work. (Applause.)
I know all the work that everyone has been doing over these last few days, starting with Thursday. I’ve been hearing about all the good work, because, of course, ours is a sorority that is about service to all mankind. (Applause.)
And I just want to thank everybody for what you do. I mean, ours is sisterhood that, of course, was founded on service and on understanding the power of — in that mission, the power of sisterhood — the power of reminding ourselves and each other that we are in this together; that we are not alone; and that with the community of sisterhood, we have so many capacities to have an extraordinary impact on so many people.
And I am so proud to be a member of this sorority. I am so proud. (Applause.) And I’ll tell you — you know, and I — I go to different states. And actually — and, you know, I’ve, so far, as Vice President, actually met with and directly talked with, by phone or in person, over 100 heads of foreign states — presidents, prime ministers, kings.
And I say that to say that wherever I go — if I’m traveling in the United States, but even when I have traveled abroad — we got sorors everywhere. (Laughter.) Everywhere.
Sometimes, my staff who might not know — oh, there we go — now everybody can hear me. Sometimes people around me will say, “You know, ma’am, there’s a group of people…” — (laughter). “There’s a group of people — and they’re all wearing pink and green — who would like to meet with you.” And then, of course, I (inaudible). (Laughter.)
But truly, I’m here — can you all hear me if I don’t use that? So, I’m — let’s turn that off. There we go.
I was across the way to give a speech about the state of our nation right now. And there’s so much at stake right now. There is so much about what we stand for that gets decided by elected officials. We have a midterm coming up in 59 days, and there is so much at stake that you all know.
And so, I ask that we continue to serve in every way that we do, including encouraging people to use their voice through their vote, understanding that their voice matters, that they matter, and that they have a right to order what they want in their lives through the use of their voice with their vote. (Applause.)
And for the women of America in particular right now, so much is on the line.
So, I would ask that in the spirit of sisterhood and the spirit of the great work of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, that we continue to organize community on every level, including around the importance of what our ancestors and the women who helped found our sorority fought for way back in the day, which includes the right to vote.
And I’ll close by telling you: I — I shared with some folks — so, many of you may know my aunt was actually Basileus in Oakland, California, when I — (applause). And when I — and she went to Howard University.
And so, when I was growing up, when I was in high school, as we do with the children in our lives, she put me to work. (Laughter.) And so, I was her assistant, and I had to sort through all her documents, which, when she was Basileus, were all pink and green. (Laughter.)
And one time, the sorority then hosted Norma E. Boyd. And I met Ms. Boyd before I was a member of the sorority, when I was a very young girl. And Ms. Boyd gave me her book, “A Love that Equals My Labors” — which I have. She signed it to me.
And when I think then about the traditions of our sorority, as exemplified by the founders and by everyone in this room, I know that the future of our nation is bright because we are a collection of committed, dedicated people — (applause) — who, through our sisterhood, understand the promise of our nation and our ability to reach it.
And so, again, I thank you all on such a personal level, but also as your Vice President. (Applause.)