Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, my Sorors! (Applause) Oh, have a seat, please. Please take a seat. Oh I’m so – I’m just so happy we were able to make this work. (Applause.)
I know all the work that everyone has done over the past few days starting Thursday. I’ve heard about all the good work because of course we are a sisterhood dedicated to service to all humanity. (Applause.)
And I just want to thank everyone for what you do. I mean, ours is a sisterhood that was naturally founded on service and on understanding the power – in this mission, the power of sisterhood – the power to remind ourselves and each other that we are here together; that we are not alone; and that we have so much capacity with the fellowship of the sisterhood to have an extraordinary impact on so many people.
And I’m so proud to be a member of this sorority. I am so proud. (Applause) And I’ll tell you — you know, and I — I go into different states. And actually — and you know, I’ve actually met and spoken to over 100 foreign heads of state as a vice president so far and talked to them directly, on the phone or in person — presidents, prime ministers, kings.
And I say that to say that everywhere I go – when I travel to the United States, but even when I’ve traveled abroad – we have Sorors everywhere. (laughter) Everywhere.
Sometimes, my co-workers who might not know – oh, here we go – everyone can hear me now. Sometimes people around me say, “You know, ma’am, there’s a group of people…” — (Laughter). “There’s a group of people – and they’re all wearing pink and green – who would like to meet you.” And then of course me (unintelligible). (Laugh.)
But really, I’m here – can you all hear me when I’m not using this? So, I’m – let’s turn that off. There you are.
I was just across the street from a speech on the state of our nation. And there’s so much at stake right now. There is so much about what we stand for that is decided by elected officials. We have a midterm in 59 days and the stakes are as high as you all know.
And so I ask that we continue to serve in every way that we do, including encouraging people to use their voice through their voice, to understand that their voice matters, that they matter, and that they have the right have to order whatever they want out of their lives by using their voice with their voice. (Applause.)
And for the women of America in particular, the stakes are so high right now.
So, in the spirit of sisterhood and in the spirit of the great work of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, I would ask that we continue to organize community at all levels, including the importance of what our ancestors and the women who helped create ours The sisterhood fought for itself back then, which also includes the right to vote.
And I’ll end by saying to you, I — I’ve shared with a few people — so many of you may know that my aunt was actually Basileus in Oakland, California, when I — (Applause). And when I – and she went to Howard University.
Growing up, when I was in high school, like we do with the kids in our lives, she got me into work. (Laughter) And so I was her assistant and I had to sort through all her documents, which when she was basileus were all pink and green. (Laugh.)
And then, at one point, the sorority hosted Norma E. Boyd. And I met Ms. Boyd before I became a member of the sorority when I was a very young girl. And Ms. Boyd gave me her book A Love that Equals My Labors – which I own. She signed it for me.
And then, as I think about the traditions of our sisterhood as exemplified by the Founders and everyone in this room, I know that the future of our nation is bright because we are a collection of dedicated, dedicated people — (Applause) — who , through our sisterhood, understand our nation’s promise and our ability to deliver on it.
And so, once again, thank you all on such a personal level, but also as your Vice President. (Applause.)