This Is A Serious Matter”

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Vice President Kamala Harris addresses members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at the organization’s 71st biennial convention in Dallas, July 10, 2024. Harris is also a member of the 116-year-old sisterhood, the first established for Black college women. (photo by Tamika Stidham)

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Hey Sis! (and the Brothers who love us)

We interrupt the Democrats’ agonized handwringing over President Joe Biden’s age to bring you this:

While Biden was in Washington performing his day job at the 75th NATO Summit, Vice President Kamala Harris went to Texas to speak to her sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the first sorority established for Black college women. She urged the AKAs — often referred to as her political “secret weapon” — to take seriously the threat to democracy posed by former President Donald Trump’s autocratic aspirations and the Project 2025 framework for expanding executive power under a second Trump presidency.

Specifically, Harris said, women must unite as a force against the “full-on assault” on the freedoms that undergird U.S. democracy. She announced new policies aimed at reducing maternal mortality and said it is incumbent upon women to lead the fight for reproductive freedoms lost when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and declared access to abortion is not a constitutional right.

“America must trust women,” Harris told the AKAs, more than 20,000 of whom are estimated to be attending their sorority’s national convention in Dallas this week. “America must honor individual choice. America must defend freedom.”

“I do believe this is the most existential, consequential and important election of our lifetimes,” Harris continued. In a direct sisterly appeal, she invoked Alpha Kappa Alpha’s mantra:

“Sorors, this is a serious matter!”

“In this moment, once again, our nation is counting on the leaders in this room to guide us forward,” Harris said. “We know when we organize, mountains move. When we mobilize, nations change. And when we vote, we make history.”

If you want to catch the vice president’s entire speech, we’ve got you! Watch below:

(The White House/YouTube)

Harris’ AKA appearance is part of her monthlong direct appeal to Black women, the Democratic Party’s most loyal voting bloc. Last week, she addressed the Essence festival in New Orleans, and is slated to speak to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.’s national convention in Indianapolis later this month.

You can get the rundown on what Madam VP said at Essence in the latest newsletter by Errin Haines of The 19th. And do listen to the sister-to-sister chat that Errin had with Kimberly Atkins Stohr, co-host of the legal news podcast #SistersInLaw and Boston Globe columnist, on the “Supreme Court vs. Democracy” episode of Errin’s podcast The Amendment.

That’s all for now. We’ll be back in this space as soon as possible to take more sisters off mute, one story at a time!

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