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‘It’s just like anything’s possible:’ Kamala Harris inspires women of color on eve of Inauguration

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Kamala Harris victory speech

MADISON (WKOW) -- Ayomi Obuseh was eight years old for Barack Obama's first inauguration.

"I thought maybe it wasn't going to happen again," she said.

Obuseh, a UW-Madison student and candidate for the District 8 alder seat, said seeing representation in the highest echelons of politics is important because it provides inspiration and motivation for young people of color.

She said Kamala Harris' vice presidency will give women of color a seat at the table for the first time.

"There's so many other students that I've been talking to at a high school level [and] here at UW-Madison that see this representation and feel like 'I can do it,'" she said. "That's the spirit that's being shared when we have people like her running for office."

Obuseh said she's motivated to enter public service because she has seen other leaders make progress, and now she wants to play a role in that process.

"Other progressive leaders, young women [and] young women of color are going to be running for office," she said. "We're seeing it now. We're seeing it with myself. There's so much room for possibility when we have people like [Harris] at the table."

Obuseh isn't the only one inspired by Harris. Gloria Hawkins, a co-chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition for Madison and Dane County, said Harris is sending a significant message to girls across the country.

"You really set high goals and you really work to achieve those goals," she said. "You dream because if you work hard, perhaps one day, many of those dreams may come true."

And she said it sends a message to the entire country about the types of people who can be political leaders.

"We have a lot of talent within the Black community," she said. "We need to tap into that talent."

Obuseh said she's hoping to see inclusive policies from the Biden-Harris administration over the next four years.

"I hope when they're in office … they really make sure that this democracy that we've been fighting for … is worth it," she said. "It has to be for something. We're here for a reason. Everybody has a purpose."

But before the next four years can happen, Biden and Harris will be sworn in Wednesday.

"This is such an exciting day," Obuseh said. "I think for everyone that I know, every person of color, it's showing that we're capable and that we have a place. We're here and we're present. We're doing the work that needs to be done to help uphold our democracy."

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Caroline Dade

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist, 27 News

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