Leave a comment

Tom Joyner Morning Show correspondent Jacque Reid goes “Inside Her Story” with attorney J. Wyndal Gordon about his four clients, which includes two Howard University seniors and their respective mothers about their suit against the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) for not allowing them into the sorority and for hazing.

Howard University seniors, Lauren Cofield and Laurin Compton, and their mothers who are AKAs, claim that their rights were violated because they were not admitted into the AKA Sorority via the organization’s “legacy clause” back in 2010. They also claim they were subject to hazing by the organization.

Read Attorney Gordon’s full interview with Jacque Reid below, to find out the details of the suit, what they are asking for and the real story behind their claims. 


JACQUE REID:  Good morning, Tom, and Sybil and Dominique.  Now, listen.  Two Howard University students are a part of a federal lawsuit against Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and Howard University.  Now, the girls are suing, along with their mothers, because they were denied access to the sorority.  They also said they experienced hazing, and that AKA participated in witness tampering.

TOM JOYNER :  You’re Delta, right?

JACQUE REID:  I’m going Inside Her Story – I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta, yes.

TOM JOYNER :  I just wanted to get that, I wanted to vet first, that’s all.

JACQUE REID:  You know, that is so not necessary.  I’m a journalist.  I’m going Inside Her Story with their attorney, D.C. area attorney J. Wyndal Gordon.  Good morning, J. Wyndal.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Good morning, Jacque.  How are you?

JACQUE REID:  Very well.  Okay, let’s go back to the beginning.  Now these two students are legacies, meaning both of their mothers are also members of Alpha Kappa Alpha.  Now they say they should’ve been granted membership because they are legacies, and I didn’t realize this, but AKA has a legacy clause?  Explain this.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Well Jacque, this case is really about broken promises, breach of contract and AKA respecting the rights of its membership.  In fact it has more to do with those three things than it does with my clients’ daughters who thought to participate in college the membership intake process.  The daughters are really collateral damage.  They’re victims caught in the crossfire between a larger battle between the AKA and its betrayed membership.  Under current law a voluntary member organization creates a legally enforceable contract between the organization and its membership.  The daughters have an enforceable right under the intended third party beneficiary doctrine of contract law.  Now AKA is not just an organization, it’s a corporation, a multimillion dollar corporation.  It can sue and be sued.  So they’re bound by the same laws as any other multimillion dollar corporation of its time.

JACQUE REID:  But, J. Wyndall, is there a legacy clause?

TOM JOYNER :  Yeah, you haven’t answered the question.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Well, yeah.  Absolutely there’s a legacy clause.  In fact AKA is the only member in the divine nine that has a legacy clause.  And this legacy clause gives priority to legacy candidates.

JACQUE REID:  Okay, so they were not, they’re legacy, these two ladies are seniors.  So this is it for them as far as pledging undergraduate.  They were legacies and you’re saying non-legacies were let on this line that’s up and running now, over them.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Right.  Not only non-legacy, but non-legacy seniors were allowed on this clause.  And basically, according to AKA law, the legacy are supposed to be selected first.  Everybody else gets selected second.

TOM JOYNER :  I have never heard of that.

SYBIL WILKES :  Were their mothers [AKAs] …

JACQUE REID:  Yeah, I hadn’t either.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  It’s in their constitution.  Apparently AKA has never heard of it either and they don’t read their constitution because it’s right there in black and white.  Now these aren’t our laws.  We didn’t create these laws.  We didn’t write them.  My clients just followed them, relied upon them, and respected AKA to apply them.  AKA broke the law.  So this is really, as I said before, a breach of contract case because, again …

JACQUE REID:  Now, J. Wyndall, now your clients believe this all stemmed from the two students, because you represent the mothers and the young ladies.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  The mothers are the lead

JACQUE REID:  That the students’ clients – right.  You’re saying that the clients reported a hazing incident during their freshman year.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Well, hazing has …

JACQUE REID:  And that’s why they were denied access?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Well, not necessarily all that.  Don’t get caught up on this hazing thing.  There’s, yes, there’s hazing involved in this case, but hazing is not the controlling issue.  Hazing …

JACQUE REID:  Well, why do you think they were denied access?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Hazing just provides the motivation for AKA to deny these women because women who submitted to hazing were selected, even those women who are non-legacies were selected who submitted to hazing.  My clients resisted hazing.  They followed the rules, just as their mothers did, they followed the rules.  They followed the rules and they were rejected.

JACQUE REID:  But did they file a complaint with the sorority?  Did they file a complaint?  Did one of the mothers file a complaint saying that their daughters were hazed?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  What they witnessed is what they consider to be questionable conduct.  They told their mother.  Their mother investigated and their mother actually did bring it to do the director’s attention.  Yes.  So the answer is yes.

SYBIL WILKES :  And yet they still wanted to join the sorority after this hazing incident?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  You know, at this point in time, it’s not necessarily about joining a sorority, it’s about justice.  And for us, for them, justice preempts the sorority.

JACQUE REID:  Well, what do they want, J. Wyndall?  What do these girls, do they want money?

SYBIL WILKES :  They don’t want to be members?

JACQUE REID:  Do they want membership?  What do they want?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  They want any number of things.  They want an apology.  And I’m talking about the mothers.

TOM JOYNER :  Do they want money?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  You guys are caught up on the daughters because the daughters make the story for you …

TOM JOYNER :  Do they want money?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  this is really about the mothers and the members.

TOM JOYNER :  Lawyer, do they want money?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  I mean if that’s the only way to get justice, what we’re seeking is justice.  If it includes money, if it includes, whatever that entails, that’s what …

TOM JOYNER :  How much money?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Well, that’s what a jury decides.  That’s not our decision to make…

TOM JOYNER :  How much are you asking for?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  How much are we asking for?  We demanded over $75,000 so that we can meet the minimum threshold of Federal Court.  But again the jury makes those decisions, not us.

JACQUE REID:  What about witness tampering?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Oh, yeah.  I’m glad you brought that up.  As a result of our lawsuit, AKA states in writing that they were suspending my clients’ privileges and threatened to expel them.  Under Federal law that is a criminal violation 18USC 1512 which prohibits witness tampering.  It carries a 20 year period of incarceration at worst.

JACQUE REID:  So they kicked out one of the mothers?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  They kicked out both of the mothers for merely trying to enforce their rights under AKA’s constitution, yes.

JACQUE REID:  Hmm?  Wow.

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  So there’s a lot involved in this case.

JACQUE REID:  Are these girls still on campus at Howard?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  They’re still on campus at Howard.  They intend to graduate on time.  And they intend to pursue their respective careers rather successfully.

TOM JOYNER :  And they want to bring down the AKA.


J. WYNDAL GORDON:  Tom, I see them bringing up the AKA because the AKA needs to respect the rights of their members.  That’s not bringing anybody down, that’s raising them up.  That’s elevating them.  The AKA should be an organization that respects the rights of its members and is beholden and bound by its own …

SYBIL WILKES :  And holding them to a standard.

TOM JOYNER :  Hmm.  Right.

JACQUE REID:  J. Wyndal, are you Greek?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  I’m sorry?

SYBIL WILKES :  Are you a Greek?

JACQUE REID:  Are you a member of a Greek organization?

J. WYNDAL GORDON:  I’m a member of a Greek organization, but I’m African-American.  (Chuckle)




JACQUE REID:  Okay, J. Wyndal.  J. Wyndal Gordon.  Alright, thank you.


(Photo: EURweb)

Also On Black America Web:
Find Out What Your Fav Celebs Did On Instagram This Week (02/02-02/08)
10 photos

16 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Attorney for the Women Suing the AKAs Defends his Clients

  1. arlester on said:

    hi well why would you want to read in. to be a true greek you need TO CROSS THE BURNING SANDS. I’M A ALPHA MAN.

    • S.D. on said:

      Crossing the burning sands is ritual – – until you go through ceremony and take the oath, you are still not official. Disagree…then follow with the story of the two young ladies that were killed in a car accident after pledging DST. They were not allowed to have any DST paraphernalia at their service. Why, because they did not go through ceremony.

  2. arlester on said:

    hi well i’v never heard of this before. so they just wanted to be read in. you really need to CROSS THE BURNING SANDS to be true GREEK. hey i’m a ALPHA MAN. A PHI.

  3. jdgwisd on said:

    When brotherhood/sisterhood organizational membership becomes more about the membership and less about the bond, it’s time to decide is these organizations revelant. It’s a question that civil rights activist and scholar Dr. Georg Iggers, lamented about in a letter addressed to his brothers, PHI BETA SIGMA. Let’s face it, these ladies were upset that their girls didnt become AKA’s and decided to sue into the organization. It spits in the face of anyone who worked hard to join an organization.

  4. Ok..from what I’m hearing and from my understanding, the legacy policy gives, “PRIORITY” to the daughters of members not automatic induction. So it seems that these girls tried to ride in on their mothers skirts and were turned away. Now their mothers are pissed off and decided to take it out on the sorority the they “so-called” loved!!! It makes me sick. Theses girls could have joined and Alumni chapter after they graduated! Who waits until there Senior year to try and pledge!!?? I’m on the side of AKA with this one!! I hope they don’t get in and their mothers remain banned!!

  5. If it happened in 2010 and they are senior now, then they probably were sophomores…STOP the HAZING Greeks! It is ILLEGAL!!! Ppl are being murdered and incarcerated behind this. How is a bond created by unified demeaning of people of African descent? We get tore down by outside sources. Just start the process with the ‘building up’ phase. We are broken as a ppl to begin with!!!!

  6. suspeczero on said:

    He is wrong. The Legacy clause doesn’t give anyone the “right” to join the organization. Some schools and chapters have caps on how many legacies can even be on the line. If not, you have chapters of nothing but legacies and that isn’t fair to non-legacies.

  7. NancyDrew on said:

    What is the point of joining a sorority? I volunteer and help the community, I do not need a sorority to do that.

  8. CashNDC on said:

    Sadly we all say, “Get it in Writing”, this interview today (as I listened to the Radio) the charges touched a few hearts! (Tom) Then I heard the keyword that I need to hear and it came in a question about “how much are they suing for?” I go back to the beginning “Get it in Writing”, AKA’s burned themselves and in my eyes damaged their reputation too! If a promenade Greek Organization can’t seem to honor what they say or write, then may be it’s time to take them down off that pedal-stool! I’m hoping they settle like smart folks, but then again the arrogance of them will try bringing in the big shot Lawyers and losing to a Jury! Because anyone with sense sitting on that Jury will say “You put it down in Writing so HONOR IT! Tom I know you going to hate it, but “Truth is real!

  9. Nothing worse than a mad mama. Feel kinda lucky that my mom had no idea what it was, and couldn’t care less. I joined as a junior, and the amount of work to be done my last year of school on top of studies was unreal. So to join as a senior, and be mad if you don’t make it? Silly. Of all the things surrounding graduation, getting a job, going to grad school – the moms pick THIS to spend time, money and effort on? There are real people in the world whose children are getting killed because their “rights” aren’t being upheld – and these mothers come with this mess? Their kids are alive and well, about to have college degrees. So many people do more with less. They should be ashamed.

    • CashNDC on said:

      Brush up on the LAW and stop all the silly replies! “IF YOU PUT IT IN WRITING, BE ABOUT IT” your writing is much like your WORD! If your WORD means nothing than that tells everyone what you are about!

  10. Nicole Wilson on said:

    The more I think on this(mess)…it sounds like they were pledging their freshman year. Meaning, they were “on line”. The line was busted, and dropped. However, the constitution has a clear, set in stone, zero tolerance for those who haze or subjected themselves to hazing. It sounds to me, like the moms want the hazing incident overlooked, because their daughters are legacies. And…they want some money. Sad.

  11. Nicole Wilson on said:

    I’m glad they were removed. Period. When you love your organization, no matter what, you do not subject them PUBLIC scrutiny. Furthermore, they are going to get a huge surprise. I know for a fact that the legacey clause is a “revolving” clause. Meaning, some years it’s valid, others it is not.

    Secondly, when you wait until your senior year to join a sorority, it is not to serve the community, but rather to elevate your resume, and “we” know that, and often deny your application.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

&pubUrl=[PAGE_URL_ENCODED]&x=[WIDTH]&y=[HEIGHT]&vp_content=plembeddf3ixunshlvk&vp_template=3854" ]