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What Does Kamala Harris’s Rise Say About America?

Live on Twitter: Dan Morain and Kimberly Peeler-Allen

What Does Kamala Harris’s Rise Say About America? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The inauguration of Kamala Harris was a moment of many firsts—the first woman, the first Black woman, the first woman of color, the first person of South Asian heritage, even the first California Democrat to become vice president. But this moment has been punctuated by an eruption of hatred and violence, and further evidence of America’s bitter divisions, making it difficult to celebrate Harris’s rise as evidence of national progress. How has the country shifted over the past four years—and over the course of Harris’s career—to make her election possible? What does the elevation of a career prosecutor mean at a moment when many Americans want the criminal justice system to be less punitive? And how well is the vice president positioned to help change American attitudes about race, gender, diversity, and representation? The veteran California journalist Dan Morain, author of the new biography Kamala’s Way, and Kimberly Peeler-Allen, co-founder of Higher Heights, an organization building the collective political power of Black women, visit Zócalo to discuss how Harris got to the White House, what we might expect her to accomplish there, and what it can tell us about our nation and the current moment.