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‘Her skin color looks just like mine’: Girls, women react to Kamala Harris’ historic moment

Harris will be first woman, African-American and South Asian to be U.S. vice president

FIL - In this Nov. 7, 2020, file photo Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks in Wilmington, Del. Harris will make history Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, when she becomes the nations first Black, South Asian and female vice president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When Kamala Harris takes the oath of office Wednesday, she will make history as the first woman vice president in U.S. history. She will also be the first African-American and the first person of South Asian descent to hold the office.

It’s a moment worth recognizing -- and discussing -- with young girls and women.

News4Jax asked local girls and women what Harris’ vice presidential win means to them.

“I feel very happy because she is the very first woman vice president in the White House and her skin color looks just like mine,” second-grader Zoey Little said. “That shows me I can be whatever I want to be when I grow up.”

Hear more of their responses in the video below:

The questions came after a special panel Tuesday night hosted by the I’m A Star Foundation and Florida Times-Union.

The “Girl Talk” conversation featured two panel discussions with girls ages 12 to 18 that included women influencers from across Northeast Florida.

The event was free and open to the public.

“This is not about political parties,” said Betty Seabrook Burney, executive director of I’m A Star. “It is all about empowering teen girls to understand possibilities and to unleash their inner greatness.”

The following girls, ages 12 to 18, in I’m A Star Foundation participated in Tuesday’s event:

Alexis Harmon, JEB Stuart Middle, 13

Ashanti Foster, Darnell Cookman School of the Medical Arts, 12

Ashleigh Buchanan, Darnell Cookman School of the Medical Arts, 15

Calleigh Buchanan, Darnell Cookman School of the Medical Arts, 11

Elizabeth Husband, Landon Middle School, 11

Faith Sampson, Sandalwood High School, 16

Jordan Bell, Samuel Wolfson, 13

Journey Butler, Jean Ribault High School, 17

Kamryn Dease, Paxon School for Advanced Studies, 15

Kara Dease, James Weldon Middle, 13

Kayla Deas, Paxon School for Advanced Studies, 15

Kayla Walker, Kernan Middle, 12

Kennadi Larkins, River City Science Academy, 13

Laniya White, Frank H. Peterson, 16

Morgan Hicks, LaVilla School of the Arts, 12

Myia McLaughlin, First Coast High School, 17

Tiffany Powell, Darnell Cookman School of the Medical Arts, 13

Valencia Gibson, Jean Ribault High School, 15

The women influencers in Panel 1 were:

Donna Orender, CEO Orender Unlimited; Founder, Generation WOW

Dr. Barbara Darby, Retired Campus President, Florida State College at Jacksonville

Dr. Diana Greene, Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools

Jennifer Carroll, Former Florida Lt. Governor

Katoia Wilkins, Director, COJ Juvenile Justice Prevention

Lena Pringle, Reporter, WJXT

Mary Kelli Palka, Editor, The Florida Times-Union

Nicole Thomas, Hospital President, Baptist Medical Center - South

Rhonda Peoples-Waters, Duval County First Elected Black Female Court Judge

Wanda Willis, Director of Community Engagement & Inclusion, Cummer Museum

Honorable Elizabeth Anderson, Duval County School Board

The women influencers in Panel 2 were:

Carrie Davis, President, Wealth Watchers

Charisse Terry-Deas, Director Of Surgical Services at Putnam Hospital Center

Geneva Terry, Retired Educator; 85-year old mother of Charisse Terry-Deas

Deborah Norman, Parent Coordinator, I’m A Star Foundation; Former Guidance Director

Dana Kriznar, Deputy Superintendent, Duval County Public Schools

Dr. Laureen Husband, Director, Public Policy & Community Engagement at Feeding NEFL

Felicia McLaughlin, Educator, DCPS

Honorable Kristanna Barnes, Business Owner; Former Duval County School Board

Honorable Martha Barrett, Vice President of Market Development, Bank of America

Lakesha Burton, Assistant Chief, JSO

Nicole Hamm, Former Candidate for City Council, District 4

Liz Castro Dewitt, Executive Director, Florida Beverage Association


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