40 Inspirational Kamala Harris Quotes That Empower Us To Believe Anything Is Possible

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As of January 20, 2021, Kamala Harris will be sworn in as Vice President of the United States — the first woman and first woman of color to ever do so.

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Harris, who originally tried running for the presidency on the Democratic ticket, is a lawyer and politician. The daughter of first-generation immigrant parents, Harris is a proud Black woman (her father is Jamaican) and also has Indian roots from her mother's side, making her not only the first Black woman to become VP but also the first Asian American to do so. 

Harris is no stranger to shattering those glass ceilings, though, as she's done it throughout her life and career. In 2004, she became San Francisco's first woman District Attorney. She went on to become California's first female attorney general in 2010 and upon being sworn into Congress in 2016, Harris became California's first Black senator and the second black woman to serve as senator.

Here are the most inspirational Kamala Harris quotes that empower us to believe anything is possible:

1. “I believe that a child going without an education is a crime.”

2. "I'm opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education, or public health, period.” 

3. “I want to use my position of leadership to help move along at a faster pace what I believe and know the Obama administration wants to do around the urgency of climate change.”

4. "There will be people who say to you, ‘You are out of your lane.’ They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you."

5. “People who work for me know that family comes first. And I'm fortunate to have a family that is very supportive of the work I do, so I don't have to live two separate lives.”

6. “We don't want to promote any system that treats the fact that an individual is LGBT as a personality disorder. And anything that perpetuates that perception is harmful - not only to that member of the community but the entire community.”

7. “Doing nothing while the middle class is hurting. That's not leadership. Loose regulations and lax enforcement. That's not leadership. That's abandoning our middle class.”

8. “The American dream belongs to all of us.”

9. “The truth is that the vast majority of Americans are good, fair, and just, and they want their country to reflect those ideals.”

10. “There is a lot of work to be done to make sure our leaders reflect the people they are supposed to represent. The more diverse a group of decision-makers is, the more informed the decision will be. Until we achieve full representation, we all should understand we are falling short of the ideals of our country.”

11. "But now, because of the smartphone, America and the world are seeing in vivid detail the brutality that communities have known for generations. You can’t deny. You can’t look away. It’s there. I do believe people are seeing the injustice of it all and are prepared to take action in a way that we’ve not seen before. And that gives me hope."

12. "Congressman John Lewis, before his passing wrote, 'Democracy is not a state. It is an act.' And what he meant was that America's democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it. To guard it and never take it for granted. And protecting our democracy takes struggle. It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future."

13. "Mental health care, the way I think about it is that we have to understand health care. You can't just think that the body starts from the neck down. We also need health care for the neck up."

14. “Don't give up — our country needs you now more than ever. This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country: Our ideals are at stake, and we all have to fight for who we are. We are all, and should be treated as, equals, but the disparity in terms of income and inequality, for women and women of color, is significant.”

15. "It will take each of us to confront the injustices that continue to perpetuate a broken system that has taken countless Black Americans’ lives. It will take people of every race, creed, and gender identity to speak up and to act. Now is the time to have those uncomfortable conversations about racism with family, friends, and neighbors. It’s time to have honest discussions about our country’s dark history of discrimination and confront the fact that structural racism lives on in our policies and everyday life. And it’s time for all of us — not just some — to speak out against racism."

16. "When I look at young girls and boys, and they look at me, they see themselves, and what they can be. That's the weight that I carry, and the joy of the weight."

17. “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking.”

18. “There is no vaccine for racism.”

19. “Single women in politics are viewed differently than single men.”

20. “Do not let anyone ever tell you who you are.”

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21. “Every issue is a Black woman’s issue. And Black women’s issues are everyone’s issues.”

22. “A patriot is not someone who condones the conduct of our country whatever it does. It is someone who fights every day for the ideals of the country, whatever it takes.”

23. “Anyone who claims to be a leader must speak like a leader. That means speaking with integrity and truth.”

24. “You never have to ask anyone permission to lead. I want you to remember that, OK? When you want to lead, you lead.”

25. “Let’s speak the truth: People are protesting because Black people have been treated as less than human in America. Because our country has never fully addressed the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its earliest days. It is the duty of every American to fix. No longer can some wait on the sidelines, hoping for incremental change. In times like this, silence is complicity.”

26. “Many cities in our country spend one-third of their entire budget on policing. With all the responsibilities those cities have, one-third on policing? Put it in the context of the fact that over the last many decades, we have essentially been defunding public schools. If anyone thinks that the way we’re going to cure these problems is by putting more police on the street, they’re wrong."

27. "We cannot tolerate a perspective that is about going backward and not understanding women have agency. Women have value. Women have authority to make decisions about their own lives and their own bodies.”

28. "A few weeks ago, I got the first dose of my coronavirus vaccine. It was the Moderna vaccine, and it was developed with NIH, the National Institutes of Health, by a team that was co-led by a 34-year-old black woman by the name of Dr. Corbitt. So, I have a message for all the little girls and boys out there, who dream of growing up to be a superhero. Superheroes aren't just about our imagination; they are walking among us. They are teachers, and doctors, and scientists. They're vaccine researchers like Dr. Corbitt.”

29. "What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters. You’re going to walk into many rooms in your life and career where you may be the only one who looks like you or who has had the experiences you’ve had. But you remember that when you are in those rooms, you are not alone. We are all in that room with you applauding you on. Cheering your voice. And just so proud of you. So you use that voice and be strong."

30. “What's important for my daughter to know is that... if you are fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well.”

31. "My parents would bring me to protests strapped tightly in my stroller, and my mother, Shyamala, raised my sister, Maya, and me to believe that it was up to us and every generation to keep on marching. She’d tell us ‘Don’t sit around and complain about things; do something.’ So I did something."

32. "The nature of a relationship of trust is that it is a reciprocal relationship. You give and you receive trust. And one of the most important ingredients in trust is truth, is truth. But what we also know is speaking truth can often make people quite uncomfortable." (from a speech presented at Spelman College in 2018)

33. "Here’s the truth people need to understand: To tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century, we must empower women and families. If we do not lift up women and families, everyone will fall short."

34. "My mother would look at me and she’d say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.’ That’s why breaking those barriers is worth it. As much as anything else, it is also to create that path for those who will come after us."

35. "I’ve been a proud mentor to many women seeking public office because I believe we need more women at all levels of government. Women have an equal stake in our future and should have an equal voice in our politics. These are challenging times, but I believe getting more women to run for office is a big part of the solution."

36. "At every step of the way, I've been guided by the words I spoke from the first time I stood in a courtroom: Kamala Harris, For the People. I've fought for children and survivors of sexual assault. I've fought against transnational gangs. I took on the biggest banks and helped take down one of the biggest for-profit colleges. I know a predator when I see one."

37. "I've had a lot of titles over my career, and certainly 'vice president' will be great. But 'Momala' will always be the one that means the most."

38. "Imperfect though we may be, I believe we are a great country. ... And part of what makes us great are our democratic institutions that protect our fundamental ideals — freedom of religion and the rule of law, protection from discrimination based on national origin, freedom of the press, and a 200-year history as a nation built by immigrants."

39. "We’re at a moment where we’re being confronted by multiple crises that have converged — a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a long-overdue reckoning on racial injustice, and a climate crisis. We have a lot we need to handle in the days ahead but I know together we can get it done."

40. "Optimism is the fuel driving every fight I’ve been in."

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Isabell Tenorio is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture, love, and relationships.