NCNW Congratulates Vice Presidential Candidate, Senator Kamala Harris

The National Council of Negro Women congratulates Senator Kamala Harris on her nomination to become the next Vice President of the United States. Over the long arc of her career, Senator Harris has proven her exceptional leadership ability, always rising to the demands of the position, from District Attorney, to Attorney General of the nation’s most populous state, to the United States Senate, making her the highest ranking Black woman in the Congress.

When senator Kamala Harris accepts the nomination next week at the Democratic National Convention, she will become only the third woman to be on the ticket of a major party as vice presidential candidate. She is the first Black woman and the first South Asian American woman nominated for the role. Only Geraldine Ferraro, who ran with Walter Mondale in 1984, and Sarah Palin, who was picked by John McCain, preceded Harris.

It is altogether fitting and proper that Black Americans should celebrate the elevation of Senator Harris. She is only the second Black woman to be elected to the United States Senate. But the celebration is not just for Black people. Senator Harris’ appeal is near universal — young folk identify with her youthfulness, her immigrant background resonates with newer Americans, women see a woman with the empathy to care about others, yet unabashed about her drive to succeed. For many, the rhetorical skills honed in law enforcement testify that she is tough enough for the assignment she has accepted. And make no mistake, even with her abundant gifts, running for Vice President will be a tough assignment.

There will be those she cannot please, either as candidate, or as Vice President, no matter how hard she tries because to them, she just does not look like a Vice Presidential candidate. Something deeply engrained in the culture of this nation too often paints women and people of color as “others.” It is telling that across the world, between 1950 and 2019 seventy-five nations had a woman as head of state. The United States is not one of them. And we elected the first Black head of state just 12 years ago.

Today, we celebrate for all the American girls who will grow up having seen a living example of a dedicated public servant who looks like them and for all the boys who will know that the highest leadership roles are not only for men. Today we celebrate the American trait that continues to inspire hope for a more perfect union — the ability to change.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D.
National Chair & 7th President

The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) mission is to lead, empower and advocate for women of African descent, their families and communities.