INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — America witnessed history Saturday, with a woman — Kamala Harris– projected to be elected for the first time to the nation’s second-highest position in government.
Her projected win comes 100 years after white women earned the right to vote and more than 50 years after Black women earned the right to vote. It’s a pivotal moment for many young girls who may have once felt the White House was out of reach.
“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,” Harris said in her address to the nation on Saturday night.
Those words spoken by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris signal a new era in America, breaking a so-called glass ceiling and long-standing tradition of a male-run White House. She’ll be the first woman of color and woman, period, to clinch the vice presidency.
“Yes, she represents diversity and inclusion at its finest, but it’s also a reminder that we have a lot of work to do in order to ensure that that becomes a reality,” said Indiana Black Expo President Tanya Mckinzie.
In recent years and even months right here in Indianapolis, conversations around diversity and inclusion ramped up. Mckinzie said this win shows America is listening and ready for it.
“I think for me watching it with my 16-year-old daughter was just amazing. Because there’s many times that I talk to her and tell her that you can do anything you put your mind to,” Mckinzie said.
For 50 years, the Indiana Black Expo and other area nonprofits have done their part in helping amplify Black voices and achievement. But Mckinzie said this moment holds a different value for women and girls of color.
“I think for the African American community, we have always gone through a bunch of pain and trauma. Generational trauma,” Mckinzie said.
She said maybe this step can help America heal. And the words of Vice President-elect Harris also sent a clear message to anyone, regardless of gender.
“Dream with ambition and lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not.”
Harris on Saturday night recognized her late mother, as well as generations of women from all backgrounds who, throughout history, laid the groundwork that allowed a woman to get to this point.