Kyra Harris Bolden made history this year when she became the youngest and first Black woman to be sworn in as an associate justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Bolden has an extensive resume both inside and outside the courtroom, including being a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Bolden joined the Michigan Supreme Court on January 1, 2023, after being appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Bolden is a Michigan native, receiving her primary, secondary, and higher education from schools in the state. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Grand Valley State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Bolden crossed the Nu Theta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., during her time at Grand Valley State University.

In an interview with ESSENCE Bolden shared what inspired her to go to law school. After an eye-opening conversation with her great-grandmother, Bolden decided she wanted to be a lawyer.

“At the end of college, my great-grandmother told me the story of my great-grandfather. My great-grandfather, Jesse Lee Bond, was lynched in Tennessee in 1939 after asking the store owner for a receipt. He was beaten and castrated and thrown into the local river. The coroner deemed it an accidental drowning, and as a result, his murderers walked free. That injustice drove me to pursue a legal career. I wanted other families to see justice in a way that my family had not seen justice,” explained Bolden.

After graduating from law school in 2014, she began working as a civil litigator in Lansing and as a staff attorney for the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County. She also worked in Southfield as a court-appointed criminal defense attorney. Later, Bolden ran for a Michigan House of Representatives seat in 2018 and won. She was re-elected in 2020 for a second term. During her time as a state representative, Bolden focused her work on criminal justice reform and crafting and passing bipartisan legislation to protect survivors of sexual violence. In 2019, Bolden had the highest number of bills passed of any freshman representative.

Bolden has also shared the importance of representation for girls, specifically little Black girls.

“I worked in an after-school program in college, and one day a little girl that looked like me came up to me and said, ‘Miss Kyra, Miss Kyra, can girls go to college?’ And I looked at her and said, ‘Yes. I’m a girl, and I’m in college.’ And the little girl turns to the girl next to her and says, ‘See, I told you.’ It’s hard to be what you cannot see. At that moment, I understood the true meaning and impact of representation.”

Bolden is one of many members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. making strides in the world of politics. Kamala Harris, a Howard University alumna, made history as the first female vice president, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American vice president. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., established at Howard University on January 15, 1908, is the oldest established Greek-letter organization for Black women. They have over 355,000 members and chapters in 12 countries, including the United States, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea.