Kamala Harris is the 49th and current vice president of the United States. Born on October 20, 1964, to immigrant parents – her father from Jamaica, her mother from India – she has broken barriers to be where she is now: the first female vice president of the country.
Not only did she shatter the glass ceiling by being the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, her courage also prevailed over the many obstacles she has faced because of her ancestry. Prior to her victory, Harris has also had a lot of ‘firsts’ in her law career.
In 2003, she became the first female district attorney of San Francisco and the first female Attorney General of California years later in 2010. She also became the first African American and the first South Asian American to hold the office of Attorney General.
She was elected to the Senate in 2016, becoming the second African American woman to win the position. This also marked the first time that a South Asian American served in the U.S. senate. As a senator, she swore to protect immigrants from Donald Trump’s policies.
Her sharp questioning of Trump administration officials during Senate hearings gained her national attention. Joe Biden chose Harris as his running mate, and together, won the presidential elections in November 2020. Harris assumed office on January 20, 2021.
Admired for her grit and dedication to fight injustice, these 30 Kamala Harris quotes reflect the vice president’s commitment to true leadership and making a difference.
Imperfect though we may be, I believe we are a great country. And part of what makes us great are our democratic institutions that protect our fundamental ideals—freedom of religion and the rule of law, protection from discrimination based on national origin, freedom of the press, and a 200 year history as a nation built by immigrants. – Kamala Harris
That’s why breaking those barriers is worth it. As much as anything else, it is also to create that path for those who will come after us. – Kamala Harris
Anyone who claims to be a leader must speak like a leader. That means speaking with integrity and truth. – Kamala Harris
To the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before. And we will applaud you every step of the way. – Kamala Harris
At every step of the way, I’ve been guided by the words I spoke from the first time I stood in a courtroom: Kamala Harris, For the People. – Kamala Harris
I’ve fought for children, and survivors of sexual assault. I’ve fought against transnational gangs. I took on the biggest banks, and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges. I know a predator when I see one. – Kamala Harris
The number of times I’ve heard the word ‘no’—or that something can’t be done—in my lifetime is too many to count. I’m honored to be considered a “first,” but I always think about the people who came before and paved the way for me to get where I am today. – Kamala Harris
I hope that by being a ‘first,’ I inspire young people to pursue their dreams. – Kamala Harris
Let’s speak the truth: People are protesting because Black people have been treated as less than human in America. Because our country has never fully addressed the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its earliest days. It is the duty of every American to fix. No longer can some wait on the sidelines, hoping for incremental change. In times like this, silence is complicity. – Kamala Harris
My parents would bring me to protests strapped tightly in my stroller, and my mother, Shyamala, raised my sister, Maya, and me to believe that it was up to us and every generation of Americans to keep on marching. – Kamala Harris
There will be people who say to you, ‘You are out of your lane’. They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you. – Kamala Harris
I’m a career prosecutor. I have been trained, and my experience over decades, is to make decisions after a review of the evidence and the facts. And not to jump up with grand gestures before I’ve done that. Some might interpret that as being cautious. I would tell you that’s just responsible. – Kamala Harris
I’ve had a lot of titles over my career, and certainly ‘vice president’ will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most. – Kamala Harris
What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters. – Kamala Harris
Our souls will be well when people know that they can feed their children. When they know that they can have a job that allows them to not only pay the bills by the end of the month, but to have a sense of dignity, in terms of knowing they’re providing for their families and creating a pathway for their future possibilities. – Kamala Harris
A patriot is not someone who condones the conduct of our country whatever it does. It is someone who fights every day for the ideals of the country, whatever it takes. – Kamala Harris
Optimism is the fuel driving every fight I’ve been in. – Kamala Harris
When you lift up women, you lift up families, you lift up communities, you lift up economies—and you lift up America. – Kamala Harris
Every issue is a Black woman’s issue. And Black women’s issues are everyone’s issues. – Kamala Harris
Even in dark times, we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. – Kamala Harris
Single women in politics are viewed differently than single men. – Kamala Harris
My mother would say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.’ – Kamala Harris
I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. – Kamala Harris
There is no vaccine for racism. – Kamala Harris
Many cultures have naming ceremonies. It is a gift that is an incredible, familial gift. The family gives the child a name and so I come at it from that: not about myself, but for everyone … Respect the names that people are given and use those names with respect. – Kamala Harris
You never have to ask anyone’s permission to lead. Just lead. – Kamala Harris
We’re at a moment where we’re being confronted by multiple crises that have converged — a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a long-overdue reckoning on racial injustice, and a climate crisis. We have a lot we need to handle in the days ahead but I know together we can get it done. – Kamala Harris
I have in my career been told many times, ‘It’s not your time. It’s not your turn’. And let me just tell you, I eat ‘no’ for breakfast. – Kamala Harris
To everyone keeping up the fight, you are doing something. You are the reason I know we are going to bring our country closer to realizing its great promise. – Kamala Harris
When I look at young girls and boys, and they look at me, they see themselves, and what they can be. That’s the weight that I carry, and the joy of the weight. – Kamala Harris
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