Photo credit: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images
One year ago today, Kamala Harris became the first Indian American and the second Black woman to be elected to the United States Senate. Since simultaneously breaking two glass ceilings in 2016, Harris has continued to use her platform to advocate and give voice to marginalized communities. Whether it be during the Women's March, the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, or at her alma mater of Howard University, where she delivered its 2017 commencement speech.
Harris, who also made history as the first woman, first African American, and first South Asian American Attorney General of California, wrote a powerful message to mark the one year anniversary of her historic election to the U.S. Senate.
Along with a photo taken by Justin Buell that night, Harris wrote in an Instagram post:
"November 8, 2016. I was backstage with family, and as the results started to roll in, my team and I knew it was going to be a long night. We didn't yet know how things were going to turn out, but we did know there was something deeply troubling happening in our country. This was an inflection point in our nation’s history. We had to figure out the words to make people feel better and give them a sense of hope. It may have been election night, but our campaign wasn’t over. We now had a different campaign ahead of us — not a campaign to win an office, but a campaign to fight for everything that motivated us to serve in the first place."
"There was no question that everything we had talked about on the campaign trail, from criminal justice reform, to immigration, to climate change, were under attack. When our ideals and fundamental values are being questioned, do we retreat or do we fight? We had to fight back," Harris continued.
"During my victory speech, I quoted Coretta Scott King, who once said, 'Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.' This was true a year ago and even more true now. From marches against the Muslim Ban, to the flood of phone calls opposing Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Americans across this country didn’t retreat. People from every walk of life are fighting for our nation’s future each and every day. If nothing else, in this past year we have demonstrated that we can and will survive these difficult times together. We won’t throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are. We won’t retreat. We will continue to fight for our ideals."
Senator Harris, your passion and unwavering commitment to the people is an inspiration to us all.