Sen. Kamala Harris has formally accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination. On the third night of the Democratic National Convention this week, she addressed the audience after former President Barack Obama spoke on the dire situation he said the U.S. would be in if President Trump is re-elected this fall. She is the first Black woman and woman of South Asian descent on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Her speech implored voters of all colors to rally behind Biden and vote this fall despite postal slowdowns and an anticipated second wave of the pandemic on the horizon. “Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods,” she said. She added that she shares Biden’s vision of America, “where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.”
DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson shared her pride in witnessing a Black woman in such a prominent position. She said she is unabashedly excited to see Harris — who is an example of a woman of color who is authentic and proud of who she is.
“This country has gotten to a place that I did not believe I would see it get to in my lifetime,” Johnson said. “And that is recognizing the value and the contributions and the opportunity that Black women have. And we’ve done that by having Kamala Harris be the VP pick to run alongside Biden. And while I did not have to wait a whole lifetime to have examples of strong Black women to teach me that I could do anything and nobody could stop me, I am so happy that young Black girls and other girls who are put down, shamed — they have somebody to look up to in their lifetime.”
Related: Lessons to be Learned From Kamala Harris
Harris and Biden have been controversial Democratic nominees, with more progressive liberal voters drawing attention to Harris’ previous work as the California attorney general, where she fought to keep many nonviolent offenders behind bars. There have also been concerns about sexual assault allegations against Biden. However, other voters tout Harris’ involvement in creating the Green New Deal and Biden’s ability to appeal to the more moderate vote while standing up for Black citizens.
What many Democratic voters do agree on is regardless of former actions, Harris’ nomination is a historic barrier-breaker for women of color.