It’s KAH-mala, not ka-MAH-la.
Kamala Harris is the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee for 2020, running alongside Joe Biden. When Harris campaigned for her own nomination in 2019, she already gained nationwide attention and global press coverage. Here are some things you should probably know about her by now.
1. Born in Oakland.
Harris was born in Oakland, California. Her mother was a biologist and her father – a Stanford University professor. The liberal surroundings of where she grew up had a significant impact on her desire to advocate for others and be a voice for fighting injustice.
2. Parental guidance.
Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was an immigrant from India, while her father, Donald Harris, is an immigrant from Jamaica. The two of them met at U.C. Berkeley and engrossed themselves in the civil rights movement. Harris has said that her parents’ stories have influenced her greatly.
3. Her name is…
Harris’ identity played a large part in her childhood. Her name is derived from the Sanskrit word for “lotus.” She attended both the Black Baptist Church and Hindu temple when she was young.
4. Family in India.
Harris has visited her family in India often. She says that her mother’s family shaped and encouraged her to fight for the women’s rights toward equality. Harris shared one beloved memory: taking long walks in Chennai with her sister and grandfather.
5. High school in Canada.
In her teenage years, Harris attended high school in Montreal, Canada. After her parents’ divorce, she moved to Montreal with her mother. She attended Westmount High and graduated in 1981, then headed back to the U.S.
6. Howard University.
Harris attended Howard University in Washington D.C., the historically Black university provided fostered her passion in political science and economics. She also pledged to the nation’s oldest Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Harris says her experience at Howard University has forever remained an incredibly important part of her life.
7. Working in San Francisco.
Harris also attended the University of California, Hastings College of Law, located in San Francisco. Eventually, she worked in the Alameda County and San Francisco County district attorney offices. She became district attorney of San Francisco County for over six years.
8. Making history.
In 2017, Harris became the U.S. Senator in California. In doing so, she made history by becoming the second African-American woman and the first South Asian-American senator to be sworn into the position.
9. Hobbies & books.
Harris enjoys cooking and uses recipes from New York Times. A favorite meal of hers is home-roasted turkey. She’s also the author of two non-fiction books, one about her stance on making the U.S. safe and another about her life’s journey in politics. She also wrote a children’s book.
10. Making even more history.
If Harris is appointed after the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, she will make history as the first woman, the first African-American, and the first Asian-American to ever become Vice President in the United States.