Tag Archives: Kamala Harris

TSU students, fellow sorority members inspired by Vice President Harris and impact on HBCUs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated chapter at Tennessee State University say they are proud to see Kamala Harris, a fellow member and HBCU grad, become vice president of the United States, but they’re even more excited about the attention she brings to historically black colleges and universities.  

TSU President Glenda Glover

Harris was sworn in at a star-studded inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday with former Vice President Joseph Biden Jr., now the 46th president of the United States. Harris is an alumna of Howard University, an HBCU.

“Senator Harris’ swearing in is a full circle moment for HBCUs and African-American Greek organizations that worked tirelessly to give the black community a voice from the turn of the century, through Jim Crow and the civil rights movement, to present day,” said AKA International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover, who is also president of TSU. “Vice President Harris’ ascension to a successful, dedicated public servant is a direct correlation to the philosophy HBCUs and our Black Greek organizations impress upon our students.”

Tiara Thomas

Before the inauguration, Glover announced that the service organization would declare Wednesday, January 20, 2021 as Soror Kamala D. Harris Day. 

“Like so many of you, I am simply beaming with pride as we witness the inauguration ceremony of a HBCU graduate, member of the Divine Nine, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kamala D. Harris, to the Office of Vice President of the United States,” said Glover. 

Junior Tiara Thomas, a member of TSU’s Alpha Psi Chapter of AKA and student representative on the university’s Board of Trustees, said she was “overwhelmed with emotions” when Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Jeia Moore

“I am joyful to see a black woman elevate to such heights, especially during these racially divided times,” said Thomas, a political science major from Olive Branch, Mississippi. “VP Harris has done for little black girls what President (Barack) Obama was able to do for little black boys. Vice President Harris has broken the concrete ceiling for girls like me aspiring to succeed in politics. I could one day be the next Kamala Harris.” 

AKA member Jeia Moore is a junior from Memphis majoring in business information systems. She said the fact that Harris graduated from an HBCU shines a spotlight on the 100-plus historically-black institutions.  

“It shows that despite their struggles, HBCUs prepare students for success,” said Moore. “As an HBCU student at TSU, I’m ready for what comes after graduation.”  

Ammria Carter

AKA member Ammria Carter agreed.  

“It speaks volumes to how prepared you can be after attending an HBCU,” said Carter, a junior political science major from Cleveland, Ohio. “Vice President Harris has inspired me to work even harder.” 


When Biden selected Harris to be his running mate, TSU Political Science Professor Brian Russell predicted Harris would cause more young people to consider attending HBCUs if she became vice president.  


“It’s going to energize a lot of younger African-American students to look in the HBCU direction,” said Russell. “That’s going to be exciting.” 

In a virtual address to TSU’s faculty and staff on Tuesday, Glover said she is among HBCU leaders who have personally met with Biden and Harris to discuss ways to help HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. Glover said the Biden-Harris administration has pledged $70 billion to the institutions, including $20 billion that will help them increase research facilities they need to compete with larger universities.  

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris expected to have generational impact, say TSU president and others

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover and other members of the TSU family say U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and what she has the potential to achieve will impact generations to come. 

TSU President Glenda Glover

The world tuned in to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to see the inauguration of Harris and Joseph Biden Jr., who became the 46th president of the United States.  

“Words cannot express how proud I was seeing Kamala Harris, an African-American woman and HBCU graduate, sworn in as vice president of the United States. This is a great day for our country, historically black colleges and universities, and for all of us!” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “African-American women have been the backbone of this country, and now an African-American woman has ascended to the second highest office in the nation; with the opportunity to create policies that will impact us for generations to come. I particularly look forward to legislation that will enhance TSU as a premiere institution and our entire HBCU family.”  

Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis

Harris is now the nation’s first female vice president, first black vice president and first black female vice president.  

“From this day forward, it will be normal for a woman to be the vice president of the United States, for a black person to be vice president of the United States, and for a citizen of Asian descent to be vice president of the United States,” said Samantha Morgan-Curtis, a Women’s Studies faculty member and dean of the College of Liberal Arts at TSU.  

“When we watched Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court, swear in Kamala Harris as the vice president of the United States, we recognized that representation matters and works. This lesson is as important for young men, as it is for the young women.” 

Senior Dominique Davis

Dominique Davis, the president of TSU’s Student Government Association, agreed.  

“Vice President Harris’ victory is exactly what the world needed to see transpire, especially African-American women,” said the senior business administration major from Danville, Illinois. “For far too long, African-American women have been underrepresented. However, Vice President Harris, along with many other power houses, have certainly began to shift that reality. I have faith that Vice President Harris will guide and elevate America as we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times.” 

Dr. Learotha Williams, a history professor at TSU, said some now ask the question: Is Vice President Kamala Harris the most powerful woman in world history?  

Dr. Learotha Williams

“If one can make the argument that the United States—for reasons good and bad—is the most powerful nation in human history, then her place as vice president, as the last voice in the room before the president makes an important decision, and her position, which is but a metaphorical and physical heartbeat from the presidency, then the answer is yes,” said Williams. “Her position and the power associated with it are not titular or ceremonial, they are real.”  

Dr. Robert Elliott, head of TSU’s Department of Music, said he realized Harris’ impact on future generations while talking to his granddaughters – 9 and 10 – at breakfast before the inauguration was televised.  

“One told me, ‘This is like the first time in the history of the world that we will have a woman vice president,’” recalled Elliott. “The other said, ‘Yeah, and in four or eight years, maybe we will have the first woman president because all of the ones before were men.’ It is great to see these young girls feeling empowered and believing that there are no limits to what women can do or be.” 

Dr. Robert Eilliott and his granddaughters, Chloe (l), Leah (r).

Other women before Harris to seek the position of president or vice president include Shirley Chisholm, who in 1972 became the first Black American and the first woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, in 1984. In 2008, Alaska’s then-governor Sarah Palin was Republican John McCain’s running mate. 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU political analysts predict Kamala Harris selection will further galvanize young voters, spark interest in HBCUs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris to be his running mate will not only further energize young voters, but also renew interest in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

TSU President Glenda Glover

That’s what political analysts at Tennessee State University have to say after Biden made the announcement this week. If he wins in November, Harris would become the nation’s first female vice president, first black vice president and first black female vice president. 

Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, in 1984. In 2008, Alaska’s then-governor Sarah Palin was Republican John McCain’s running mate.

TSU President Glenda Glover said Biden’s announcement was a great moment for our country, African-Americans, and for women.

“Senator Harris’ selection is a full circle moment for HBCUs and African-American Greek organizations that worked tirelessly to give the black community a voice from the turn of the century, through Jim Crow and the civil rights movement, to present day,” President Glover said.

“As the president of Tennessee State University, a premiere HBCU, and as International President of AKA, in which Sen. Harris is a member, I am doubly proud of this selection. I also commend Vice President Joe Biden for his insight to bring someone of Sen. Harris’ stature to the ticket. She is intelligent, experienced, charismatic and above all qualified for the job.” 

Glover added, “African-American women have been the backbone of this country, and now an African-American woman has the opportunity to ascend to the second highest office in the nation; with the opportunity to create policies that will impact us for generations to come.” 

Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis, a Women’s Studies faculty member and dean of the College of Liberal Arts at TSU, said Harris is “historic on several levels.”

Morgan-Curtis said Harris’ selection is a continuation of the “wave of activism” during the 2018 midterm elections in which there were historic firsts for women of color. To name a few, Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to Congress, and Democrats Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids became the first Native American women elected to Congress.

Junior Tiara Thomas

TSU junior Tiara Thomas said it is inspiring to see someone who looks like her get a step closer to being the second most powerful person in the United States. 

“I think what Kamala Harris is doing for black women is what (former President) Barack Obama did for black men in America,” said Thomas, a political science major from Olive Branch, Mississippi, and the creator of TSU Votes, a social medial platform. “It gives us another crack in the glass ceiling.”

In 1972, Shirley Chisholm became the first Black American and the first woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, said Thomas, Harris is standing on her shoulders.

“it’s cool to see history kind of reinvent itself,” said Thomas. “To see a black woman actually be put on the (presidential) ballot, it’s amazing.”

In the four hours after Biden announced Harris as his running mate, ActBlue, the Democrats’ main fundraising platform, reported more than $10.8 million in donations. TSU political analysts predict Harris will have a similar effect on voters.

They say her selection will not only galvanize female voters, but all voters, particularly young ones, disgruntled over continued social injustice, like the deaths of George Floyd and other black men and women due to police brutality.

“I’m always impressed with how worked up our students can get, and how they focus that on things,” said Erik Schmeller, a history professor and director of the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement at TSU.

“National organizations are also pushing the message, that this is your opportunity to get engaged and make a difference.”

TSU Political Science Professor Brian Russell predicts Harris, an alumna of Howard University and a member of the prominent black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., will cause more young people to consider attending HBCUs, especially if Biden is elected president.

“It’s going to energize a lot of younger African-American students to look in the HBCU direction,” said Russell. “That’s going to be exciting.”

To learn more about the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement at TSU, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/servicelearning/.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.