Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Kamala Harris was recently announced as the Vice President-Elect, a historic victory for people of color and women across the nation.
Who is Kamala Harris?
Her Background: Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was an Indian-American biologist, whereas her father Donald J. Harris is an economics professor at Stanford University. Her experience in politics is extensive, as she has served as a District Attorney, Attorney General, and a U.S. Senator. On November 7, 2020, alongside President-Elect Joe Biden, Harris was declared the Vice President-Elect.
Kamala Harris pictured top left from https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-25/how-kamala-harris-indian-family-shaped-her-political-career
Quote: “My parents would bring me to protests strapped tightly in my stroller, and my mother, Shyamala, raised my sister, Maya, and me to believe that it was up to us and every generation of Americans to keep on marching.” - Kamala Harris, 2020
A History of Firsts: Throughout her political history, Harris has broken several barriers, becoming the “First” in several capacities.
First African-American and First Woman to serve as California’s Attorney General
First South Asian-American Senator
When inaugurated, Harris will continue her history of trailblazing, becoming:
First Female Vice President
First Black and South Asian-American Vice President
picture of Kamala Harris giving victory speech from https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-11-07/kamala-harris-victory-speech-2020-election-transcript
Harris and The Museums: Interestingly enough, Harris has been an outspoken advocate for the arts. In 2017, she tweeted that “the arts give people an outlet to view the world differently”, responding to former President Trump’s threat of eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She served as a trustee on the board of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) for 15 years. Harris assisted in developing SFMOMA Matches, a program to connect children from low-income communities with museum members to promote their interest in art.
In addition, she recently supported a bill by Senators Susan Collins and Dianne Feinstein to create a woman’s history museum at the Smithsonian. This is particularly significant, as women’s suffrage was passed exactly 100 years ago.
picture of SFMOMA from: https://www.sftravel.com/article/must-sees-sfmoma-summer
Harris and The Culture: Harris has made numerous efforts to promote cultural diversity within the nation. She has co-sponsored resolutions to support Immigrant Heritage Month, celebrating the contributions of immigrants and their children to this country. Seen through her promotion of holidays and the DREAM and DACA programs, Harris has been noted as “the most outspoken ally of immigration activists”. Harris has also supported resolutions to recognize Latinas, in addition to advocating for the National Museum of the Latin American Act.
Quote: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last.” - Kamala Harris, 2020
Learn More Here:
ATTENTION: This post focuses on Kamala Harris’ advocacy for culture and the significance of her election. It is, of course, still important to acknowledge her problematic term as Attorney General (including her decisions regarding criminal justice and LGBTQ+ rights) and we must hold her accountable for her political past. Nonetheless, we believe that having a Black and South Asian WOMEN as the United States Vice President is a historic win for the Black and South Asian communities, and POC women as a whole, which should be celebrated. https://www.them.us/story/kamala-harriss-record-on-trans-and-sex-work-issues
Written by Abel Abraham. Graphics Created by Haley Ma. Click here to see the original post!