Women In New York Celebrate As Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Makes History

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will make history. The former U.S. Senator from California will become the nation’s first female vice president.

There were ecstatic celebrations in New York City and across the country in a historic moment Saturday.

“It’s so wonderful to see a woman in that high of the office. Talk about shattering a glass ceiling,” said Heidi Tolson, of New York.

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With her ascension to the White House, Harris makes history as the first female vice president in U.S. history and also as the first Black and South Asian-American vice president.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – NOVEMBER 07: President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris take the stage at the Chase Center to address the nation November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

“She is just, for all women, the opportunity to see yourself and say, ‘That can be me,’” said Deborah Martin Owens, with Women Creating Change New York.

Harris, the daughter of immigrants, an Indian mother and Jamaican father, grew up in California.

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She studied at Howard University, a historically Black school.

The university’s president, Dr. Wayne Frederick, says Harris’ victory is significant, especially as the nation deals with racial injustice.

“I feel very confident that things will change somewhat. They will not be completely cured, but we certainly have taken another significant step in eradicating the disease of systemic racism,” Frederick said.

Harris’ sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha congratulated their sister, tweeting, “You represent the new face of political power and continue to be a barrier-breaker.”

Local members, like Devry Ross, say seeing a Black woman as vice president will be surreal.

“We didn’t think we would see that in our lifetime,” Ross told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon. “It’s just so special. It’s, I mean, tears, just so many emotions. Pride. Just joy.”

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – NOVEMBER 07: President-elect Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and husband Doug Emhoff wave to crowd on stage after Biden’s address to the nation from the Chase Center November 07, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

South Asian-Americans are also rejoicing. They hope Harris’ appointment will bring more rights for immigrants.

“It makes us feel like all of a sudden the doors were shutting, and now the doors are open,” said Sophia Qureshi, with South Asian-Americans Leading Together.

“I think the community, to continue doing well, we need support of the people, our leaders, recognizing us,” said Manjit Singh, owner of Jackson Diner in Queens.

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Andrea Stewart-Cousins is the first female Senate Majority Leader in New York.

She hopes girls will be inspired by how many hurdles Harris had to jump over in order to be where she is today.

“Believe in yourself and who knows where you’ll land. Reach for the stars. It could happen,” Stewart-Cousins said.

She says Harris’ win is a victory for girls here at home and around the world.

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