Celebrating History in the Making

On January 20, 2021, over 172 years since Lucretia Mott first ran for the office of Vice President on the Liberty Party ticket in 1848, Ms. Kamala D. Harris became America's first woman, first African-American, first South Asian, and the first graduate of a historically Black college or university to be elected as Vice President. Being the first is not new to Madame Vice President. In 2003, Ms. Harris became the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney. After having completed two terms as the District Attorney of San Francisco, Ms. Harris was elected as the first African-American and first woman to be elected Attorney General of California, overseeing the country’s second largest Justice Department after the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2017, Ms. Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second Black woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. In an interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, Ms. Harris commented on the privilege of being first; "I hope that by being a 'first,' I inspire young people to pursue their dreams. 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. From Rosa Parks to Shirley Chisholm to Congressman John Lewis, I stand on the shoulders of so many great men and women before me." (Harper's BAZAAR, October 2020).
On January 19, 2021, as part of her continuing efforts to open up opportunities and uphold the rights of women in our nation and around the world, Madame Vice President Harris and President Joe Biden announced the formation of the White House Gender Policy Council to guide and coordinate government policy that impacts women and girls, across a wide range of issues such as economic security, health care, racial justice, gender-based violence, and foreign policy.

"While 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. And 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." (Vice President-elect Victory Speech, November 7, 2020
FAWL Members on the Inauguration of the First Woman Vice President
What unites us as members of FAWL is our shared commitment to its mission: promoting gender equality. This week, our country took a huge step towards reaching that goal when Kamala Harris was sworn in to the highest-ranking office ever held by a woman in the United States. Congratulations, Madame Vice President!

Thomasina Moore,
FAWL Legislative Director, 2020-2021
As I watched Ms. Harris being sworn in as Vice President by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, I was reminded of my favorite poem by Audre Lorde, NOW
Woman power is
Black power is
Human power
always feeling
my heart beats
as my eyes open
as my hands move as my mouth speaks
I am are you

Mariane Dorris,
FAWL Public Relations Director, 2020-2021
Representation matters. Seeing a woman of color reach a height never reached before gives me inspiration. It opens the door for those coming behind her to be taken as a serious contender. Further seeing what Vice President Harris has been able to accomplish despite all of the roadblocks set in front of women and especially women of color; encourages me to keep going in the face of adversity. All in and all, her election gives me hope.

Jessica D. Thomas,
FAWL Journal Editor,

Do you hear that? That is the glorious sound of shattering glass! #ShatterThatGlassCeiling”

Kyleen Hinkle,
FAWL Immediate Past President, 2020-2021
The inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris - the first Black, woman, and South Asian American Vice President - is awe inspiring. Not only has Vice President Harris achieved these milestones, but she is also a reflection of so much the Black community holds dear by being a member of the National Panhellenic Council and a graduate of a Historically Black College and University. Vice President Harris is evidence that we can not only dream, we can do. 

As Vice President Harris regularly quotes, “you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last,” we all have a role to play in the celebration of this moment and continued march towards equality. 

Iris A. Elijah,
Immediate Past FAWL Membership Director,
Every time we are celebrating another woman or minority being the “first” to be elected or appointed to an office, the truth is that I am equally frustrated by the fact that we are in 2021 and only now having that “first” and at the same time inspired and hopeful for the future for this country.  It’s the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that then remind me to be a patient servant to the future of our great nation: “[T]he arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

Kimberly Hosley,
FAWL President, 2020-2021

Florida Supreme Court Ceremonial Session for the 19th Amendment Centennial
If you missed the Florida Supreme Court Ceremonial Session for the 19th Amendment Centennial, you can view it here.
Save the Dates:
FAWL Webinar: The First Chair

2021 FAWL Lobby Days in Tallahassee
  • Monday, March 22nd- Wednesday, March 24th (pending COVID guidelines, details to come at www.FAWL.org)
FAWL Annual Sponsors
Please send your news and direct press inquiries to Public Relations Director Mariane Dorris and Executive Director Kari Hicks at news@fawl.org.
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