writings and Reflections

History in the Making: Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris
Tara Christie Kinsey

On Saturday, November 7, The Associated Press named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States. As a non-profit organization, The Hewitt School is prohibited from participating, either directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office. Yet as a girls’ school whose mission is to inspire girls and young women to become game changers and ethical leaders, The Hewitt School acknowledges and celebrates a truly historic moment in women’s history as Senator Kamala Harris becomes the first woman, the first Black woman, the first woman of Southeast Asian descent, and woman of color to be elected vice president.

On November 7, in her first address as vice president-elect, wearing a white pantsuit to symbolize the hard-fought path from the earliest women’s suffragists right through to this historic moment, Kamala Harris honored her mother and the many generations of women of all races who paved the way for this moment when she said: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

One of my favorite quotations is by the actor and advocate Geena Davis: “If she can see it, she can be it.” Research clearly shows that girls and young women are better able to see themselves as leaders if they see other girls and women in leadership. I love thinking about all of the ways in which Kamala Harris will inspire millions of girls and young women to shatter glass ceilings of every kind. My heart grows full at the video of Senator Harris telling her niece’s daughter: “You could be president….but not right now. You have to be over the age of 35.” At Hewitt, we make sure that girls and young women see all of the opportunities for self-actualization, and that they can be whatever they want to be--even if others tell them “no.” Here, too, the future vice president is a powerful role model for girls and young women. In one interview, Vice President-elect Harris said: “You know, I have in my career been told many times, ‘It’s not your time. It’s not your turn'...And let me just tell you, I eat ‘no’ for breakfast, so I would recommend the same. It’s a hearty breakfast.”

As this election made evident, our country is truly divided, and we have a great deal of work to do if we are going to reach across our differences and work together. But at this historic moment, I hope you will join me to rejoice in the shattering of one of the most persistent glass ceilings in our country: The White House.

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