Hundreds of lawyers from nation’s oldest African American sorority join effort to fight voter suppression

Greg Nash

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., (AKA) the nation’s oldest African American Greek-letter sorority, has joined forces with the National Bar Association, the biggest and oldest network of African American lawyers and judges in the country, in an effort to fight voter suppression ahead of the election.

Glenda Glover, international president of AKA and president of Tennessee State University, a renowned historically Black university, said in a statement that hundreds of lawyers who are members of the organization will “have committed themselves to participate in this partnership and will work alongside the National Bar Association in their non-partisan Election Protection efforts.”

“Alpha Kappa Alpha will be on the front lines securing the vote and ensuring that every vote is counted during this critical election year,” she said. “Our AKA lawyers will be involved to protect the early voting processes, which are even more important because of COVID-19.”

“We also will be available to monitor the election at polling locations as rapid responders to draft and file pleadings, appear in court, and make oral arguments to get ballots counted. Sorority members will volunteer where needed,” she continued.

For the effort, the sorority said the National Bar Association will be using the volunteer lawyers “to serve as poll watchers as well as poll monitors on Election Day.”

The sorority said the nonpartisan effort comes as the organization continues its work mobilizing voters through a program dubbed “AKAs L.E.A.D.”, through which members of the sorority are encouraged to “Learn, Empower, Advocate and Decide on legislative, public policy and social justice issues critical to Black women and the African-American community.”

“This non-partisan effort also includes voter education, registration and mobilization efforts designed to increase the number of individuals who exercise the right to vote and support Black women who run for public office,” the organization said.

The organization has captured nationwide headlines over the past year for its ties to Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who pledged to the sorority when she was an undergraduate student at Howard University. However, the sorority, which was founded over a century ago, has long been renowned for its deep history fighting for the rights of African Americans. 

According to its website, in the 1980s the organization registered hundreds of thousands of voters, and this year has pushed for a list of policy actions and efforts aimed at combatting voter suppression and police brutality as racial tensions have escalated in the nation amid widespread protests sparked by the police killings of Black Americans.

Tags 2020 election Alpha Kappa Alpha Fraternities and sororities Glenda Glover Kamala Harris

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