What This Historic Day Means to Me

Sarah Coombs

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
— Maya Angelou

Kamala Harris is the first woman, Black, Asian American vice president-elect! I have chills.

On this historic day, I’m thinking of the 401 years of blood, sweat and tears it took us to get here. I’m thinking of the countless Black women who sacrificed everything and whose shoulders we stand on. Powerful women like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Jordan. I’m thinking of my immigrant parents who, like Vice President-elect Harris’ parents, raised me to be a strong Black woman and to believe that I could be anything I wanted to be. I’m also thinking of Stacey Abrams and countless Black and Brown activists and community organizers who helped ensure record voter turnout, protected the vote across the country and safeguarded our democracy. I am in awe of them, and they inspire me to continue fighting.

If we're honest, Black women have been the most loyal voters and the institutional backbone for the Democratic Party for generations, which is why seeing a Black woman hold the second highest office means so much. Finally, we are getting the credit we’ve deserved since the founding of this nation. This is a moment of pride and joy for so many Black women and girls.

My young nieces and cousins will see it is possible that they too can be anything they want to be, including a leader of this country. And for these next four years, my 3-year old son will grow up only ever knowing that the vice president is a Black woman.

Still, the struggle isn’t over. The push for racial and gender equity isn’t over. Black women still face systemic racism and discrimination, which are the cause of the economic injustices and health inequities we see in our communities — inequities that we at the National Partnership work every day to eradicate.

No one understands this better than Madame Vice President-elect Harris. And I will look to her to lead in transforming this country to be better place for all women, their families and their communities.

But for now, I’m jumping for joy, and I simply want to congratulate her for achieving yet another first.

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