Representation Matters


4 diverse children holding handsMy Vice President looks like me!

This is the sentiment of so many girls and women across this country. As I watched the Inauguration on January 20th, I felt so much pride and joy in my heart. I felt relieved to see a new president coming into office, however, I truly felt tears of joy to see a brown woman being sworn in as the Vice President of the United States. Kamala Harris represents the First Woman, First Black Woman, and First Woman of South Asian descent to be Vice President of the United States of America.

While watching the inauguration, I could not help, but think that in a year when racism can no longer be denied in our country, this is a monumental moment. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama even recognized the magnitude of that moment, when she made eye contact and gestured to Kamala Harris. In that moment, with only her facial expression and her finger, I felt that she told her “You did that!”

Source: Olivier Douliery Getty Images

Both of these women embody courage, strength, intellect, tenacity, and compassion.

Obama and Harris represent women of color who pave the way for others who will lead and follow in their footsteps in years to come. They broke through the glass ceiling, that which is not tangible, but is ever present in our daily lives, jobs, our neighborhoods, our government, our laws, and so forth.

I also watched as a young woman by the name of Amanda Gorman take her seat at the table as she served as the youngest poet ever to recite at a presidential inauguration.
At only 22 years old, she gave a rousing performance of her poem, “The Hill We Climb.” As she recited her poem, I heard brilliance in her words and magic in her heart.

She joined this group of incredible women of color that continue to break glass ceilings and lead the way.

February is known as Black History Month. While one month does not do justice for the rich amount of Black history in our nation, it does serve as a time to be more intentional about learning about the contributions from Black people to our country. To celebrate Black history month, here are a few of the Black women that have made significant contributions to our country. I encourage you to share and read with children, about the books that celebrate diversity.

It is important, now more than ever, that we remind them that representations matters.

  • Harriet Tubman (American abolitionist and political activist)
  • Sojourner Truth (American abolitionist and women’s rights activist)
  • Bessie Coleman (first African-American woman and first Native-American pilot)
  • Alice Ball (African-American chemist who created the Ball Method, to cure leprosy)
  • Ruby Bridges (first African-American child to desegregate an all-white school in Louisiana)
  • Katherine Johnson (1st African-American woman to work as a NASA scientist)
  • Maya Angelou (American poet and civil rights activist)
  • Wilma Rudolph (Olympic champion and 1st woman to win 3 gold medals in a single Olympic Games)
  • Maxine Waters (American politician; U.S. Representative)
  • Mae C. Jemison (American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut)
  • Stacy Abrams (American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist)

So, let us celebrate these women who have contributed so much and continue to represent our diverse country!


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