When I was in high school I was adopted by a group of women in my hometown. For whatever reason they chose to support me in my every endeavor. They paid my entrance fee in certain competitions, from science fairs to leadership academies. They purchased my equipment and provided transportation and all they ever asked in return was for me to be the best me I could be and to remember that women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., were born and not made.
After college I returned to my hometown, worked as a newspaper reporter and in 2000 I leaped head first into a sisterhood I was born to be a member of. This week Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., celebrated our 105th founder’s day and I had an opportunity to not only fellowship with Sorors, but to reflect on a membership that has so much significance not just to me, but to my daughter.
At almost 4-years-old Morgan’s favorite colors are pink and green. She loves pearls and can throw her pinky up and skee wee with the best of them. I doubt she understands the word Sorority, but she clearly understands that her mommy is an AKA and will tell anyone who asks.
As proud as that makes me, there is so much more for her to learn, it’s more accurate to say more for me to teach. AKAs are so much more than pearls, mirrors and wearers of beautiful shades of pastel colors. We are women of standard, women of service, women of virtue, merit and grace. We cannot be made, we are born, and that I know for sure.
As I prepared to join my Sorors for a celebratory dinner on January 15th, my daughter watched my every step. She watched me choose my outfit, she watched me apply my makeup and she watched me choose just the right fragrance. “Mommy, why are you getting so fancy, where are you going” she asked. “I’m going to have dinner with some of my AKA sisters, because today is a special day for us,” I reply. “Why is today special,” she asks and I pause to think of just the right words to tell her.
“Today, AKAs all over the world take time to think about the women who started our organization. It’s our Founder’s Day,” I say. After a brief moment she looks up at me smiling, she hugs my leg and says “Oh, I get it. It’s your birthday.”
Thirteen years ago I joined my Sorority for me, but as I look into Morgan’s bright eyes full of promise, I now know my decision was so much bigger than me. What an opportunity, what an honor. I am grateful for this moment of clarity and I am excited about the many lessons yet to come.
Nothing like a birthday to remind you how far you’ve come, pause to celebrate the now and give you an opportunity to map out the years ahead. Happy Birthday Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., and thank you, thank you, thank you.