5 Things You Didn’t Know About US Vice President-Elect #KamalaHarris—-America’s female Vice Presidential elect Kamala Devi Harris made history on Saturday as the first Black person and Asian American to hold the position.
The five things you didn’t know about this woman that shattered the barriers that have kept men entrenched at the highest levels of American politics for years includes:
1. She was born October 20, 1964, Oakland, California, U.S. into a Hindu and Christian family. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was from Chennai, India while her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica.
Her name, Kamala, means “lotus” in Sanskrit and is another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.
2. She attended Westmount High School in Quebec, where she founded a dance troupe with a friend. Returning to the States to enter Howard University in Washington, D.C.
She was elected to the liberal arts student council and joined the debate team, en route to a B.A. in political science and economics. Harris then enrolled at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, earning her J.D. in 1989.
3. She was the first Indian American to serve as a U.S. senator as well as the second African American woman. Harris previously was the state’s attorney general (2011–17). In November 2020 she was elected vice president of the United States on a ticket with Joe Biden.
4. She was criticized for not proactively assisting in civil cases against Catholic clergy sex abuse during the years she served as a prosecutor.
After graduating from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Harris specialized in prosecuting sex crimes and child exploitation as a young prosecutor.
5. When running for President last year, she often used the New Testament parable of the good Samaritan.
Jesus tells the parable about an outsider who helps a man beaten and left on the side of the road. Harris has said it has helped her clarify who one’s “neighbor” is.
“Neighbor is not about having the same ZIP code,” Harris said at a Poor People’s Campaign forum last year. “What we learn about in that parable is that neighbor is someone you are walking by on the street. … Neighbor is about understanding and living in service of others — that we are all each other’s brothers and sisters.”