I was born a twin. Whenever I mention that, everyone always wants to know her name. My response is, “It’s a boy.” My brother is my only sibling and growing up with a twin brother was fun. We attended the same elementary school, then separated for high school. My brother even went on a double date with me to prom! Still, I’ve often wondered what life would be like with an older or younger sister.
After graduating high school, I decided to attend Xavier University and pursue a pharmacy degree. As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I saw that pink and green bench underneath a big, beautiful tree on the yard. When I joined the Epsilon Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, INC. in the fall of 1998, I knew it would be an experience that would change my life. But I never expected how much it would truly impact me.
A sorority is a group of women who have chosen to be sisters. They support each other through all obstacles, trust each other with their deepest secrets and fears, and look out for each other to ensure no sister gets left behind or forgotten. Sororities are not just about parties or step shows. So many times, in college and beyond, I have thought back to the lessons my sisters taught me and how they guided me through tough times. The sisterhood of AKA is truly a special one, and these ladies are my living proof.
My first sisterhood experience outside of college was in August of 2005. Hurricane Katrina devasted New Orleans, and my family lost everything. Cell phones were not working, and this was when the world had discovered text messaging. My sisters sent text messages to check in and to see if there was anything I needed. I was 25 years old, practically homeless, and receiving text messages and care packages from those sisters I’d always wanted.
The unwavering support we show each other allows us all to navigate through life’s toughest challenges and celebrate our biggest blessings. I was there for the birth of my line sister’s son, who is also my godson. My sorors became my bridesmaids and serenaded me in a huge circle at my wedding, and then they showered me for the birth of my own son. These are lifelong bonds we’ve formed.
I look forward to homecoming each year because it is an opportunity to have fun and kick it, but most importantly, it is also a chance to reconnect and check in with each other. We have group texts (I know) and a GroupMe which consists of 69 women! We celebrate each other’s accomplishments, say happy birthday—even plan our 25th-anniversary trip. We will become Silver Sorors in 2023, and that’s a big deal. For almost 25 years, we have been “sisters by choice.”
Now listen, no sisterhood is without its challenges, but the love we have for each other keeps us together. I know I can pick up the phone and call my soror, and she will answer. She may be shocked to receive a call and not a text, but she will answer. I will do the same for her. “We help each other.” I have traveled to different cities, and sorors I have never met have come to my aid. That is the love of AKA. It runs deep.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is also anchored in service to all mankind, and we participate in various community activities that are close to my heart. As a member of my local chapter (Alpha Beta Omega), I was able to support the American Heart Association last year under the Women’s Health and Wellness target. I enjoyed exercising and educating the community on heart health. This year, sorors were recognized for the community wellness efforts of the Brenda H. Owens Wellness Event.
As I reflect on our most recent Founders’ Day, I couldn’t be more grateful for the nine founders: Anna Easter Brown, Beulah Burke, Lillie Burke, Marjorie Hill, Margaret Flagg Holmes, Ethel Hedgemon Lyle, Lavania Borman, Lucy Diggs Slowe, and Marie Woolfolk Taylor. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants and are part of a sisterhood like no other.
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