Kamala Harris has made history by becoming the first woman of colour to serve as the Vice President of the United States of America. Although many women have previously run on both Democratic and Republican tickets, in the entirety of American history, no woman has ever held the role of Vice President.
Harris actually ran for President herself and had her own 2020 campaign but this campaign proved unsuccessful when the nominees dwindled to a tie between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But even though her presidential campaign failed, Harris is still in a powerful position as Biden’s running mate. Harris’ presence in the White House also serves as a beacon of hope that America’s long history of institutionalised racism will finally draw to a close.
Kamala Harris is of Indian and Jamaican descent and she is the daughter of immigrant parents. And as a result, Harris’ victory is significant on multiple levels and has been heralded as a win for women of colour everywhere. Prior to her involvement with the 2020 election, Harris served as a senator in California, on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget. She has been quite vocal about her views on the relationship between race and government policy, remarking that the story of her mother – an Indian-American immigrant- inspired her to make the world a better place for everyone who comes to another country in search of a better life. Throughout her career, she has also been a dedicated advocate for people of colour and for civil rights in America.
Harris’ commitment to activism and equality was reflected in her statement about the election results when she tweeted about her victory, writing simply:
This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me. It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.
Kamala Harris will be sworn in as Vice President at midday EST (5pm GMT) today (20th January 2021).