Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Ole Miss Students, Alumni Feel Connection to VP-Elect Harris

By Dayna Drake
HottyToddy intern

Deandria Turner, bottom row, second from left, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, as is vice-president elect Kamala Harris. Photo provided by Turner.

Kamala Harris is the first woman of color to be elected vice president of The United States, making her sorority prouder than ever. Though she was born in California and went to college at Howard University and law school at the University of California, she has some “sisters” here at the University of Mississippi.

The vice-president elect is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and her sorority sisters from the UM chapter are using her victory as a motivational reminder.

DeAndria Turner, Ole Miss Alpha Kappa Alpha Theta Psi Chapter Alumna, is now a TV news reporter in Alabama. She said she was filled with hope and joy after a member of her own sorority landed such a role.

“This proves that you can do anything you put your mind to,” Turner said. “It’s just like a little glimmer of hope for women, and especially women of color because we are a double minority.”

While they are not graduates of the same university, Turner and Harris are both alumni of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), the first Black Greek sorority, and one that was founded at Howard.

“We were founded in 1908, so from 1908 to 2020, we’re still making strides and we’re still breaking the glass ceilings and showing that, yes, this can be done,” Turner said.

Brittany Brown, a graduate student at UM, felt this win was particularly special and personal.

“For me it just represents all of the work that women do and what we’re capable of,” Brown said. “Even more specifically her as a Black woman and as an Asian woman, and then just her being in my sorority is just the cherry on top.”

Brown and Turner were just two of the women from all over the country who watched history being made when Harris was elected.

“I think it’s just as historical as Barack Obama being elected president in 2008,” Brown said. “Of course, with him being the first Black man in that role, this is just as monumental.”

Video by Dayna Drake, HottyToddy intern