Black women on Albion College’s campus, both students and alumni, have been doing phenomenal work to create a more inclusive space for marginalized students.
From Ida B. Wells to Angela Davis to Laverne Cox, Black women have historically been on the front lines as trail blazers for change while simultaneously being one of the most disrespected, unprotected and neglected women in this country and around the world. Despite being constantly struck down by society, Black women continually rise up.
Black women on Albion’s campus are no different. Despite all the trials and tribulations they have to face on an everyday basis, Black women at Albion continue to take charge in leadership roles and make campus a place for the better. And they deserve their credit.
The Pleiad’s “Black Women Winning” series aims to highlight Black women on campus and all they have achieved and continue to achieve.
Kai Bratton, a junior from Chicago, is passionate about creating diversity in the spaces she loves the most, in part by dedicating herself to city-wide advocacy in her home state. She also serves as vice president of membership in Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), the music fraternity.
“I plan stuff like formal, which I am extremely excited about, and recruitment events,” said Bratton. “Hopefully, I will be able to plan those events this semester. I’m trying to make that work in some type of way.”
As the person over recruitment of new members, Bratton makes it her mission to bring different backgrounds to SAI.
“In Greek life, I really want a more diverse image, and I want Sigma Alpha Iota to show that and have it inclusive for everyone,” said Bratton. “And Sigma Alpha Iota, it’s always been inclusive for everyone, but I just want other people of color, students of color, to see that more within campus.”
SAI has given Bratton a sisterhood and a network of students who are just as invested in art and leadership as she is.
“We have a phrase called ‘life is short, but art is long,’ and since I’ve been initiated, that phrase always stuck to me, because it’s any aspect of art, not just music, but visual, performing arts, it’s always been a huge aspect of my life, and I’ve always been super passionate about that,” said Bratton.
When she is not advocating for diversity of SAI on campus, Bratton is a youth advocate off campus.
“Since about a year ago, I’ve been involved with a youth activist group called Good Kids Mad City, and my friend, Taylor Norwood, from high school, established this group in 2018. It’s been cool ever since,” said Bratton. “It’s really cool because I get to connect with youth in my city, other advocates, and we advocate for them in any type of way.”
Good Kids Mad City (GKMC) is a group that advocates for the end to violence in Bratton’s community.
“We advocate for mainly anti-violence in mainly the west and south side of Chicago and on top of that we advocate for reparations and stuff that speaks for my people,” said Bratton.
Through GKMC, Bratton has been able to reach out to youth using something she is passionate about: the arts.
“We don’t just do reparations and stuff like we connect with the youth through arts,” said Bratton. “Every now and then we have open mics, different protests and vigils as well.”
When Bratton and GKMC organize these open mics, they are places that youth can go to in order to address specific issues that affect their communities directly. Bratton said there are big turnouts from not only youth, but alumni from her high school as well.
“It’s not just open mics and the fun type stuff. We touch base on some serious stuff as well, such as equality for Black and Brown people in the city in general,” said Bratton.
Bratton said she is proud to be a part of such an impactful organization that relates to the people of her city so well.
“That’s the whole community,” said Bratton. “They connect together through art.”