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Harris’ historic day offers hope for the future of female leaders

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:11 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Many are celebrating Kamala Harris as our first female Vice President.

This is a moment that’s historical to us right now, with the hope that it will be normal for girls as they grow up from now on.

“I really think it’s just a joyful day for women,” said Herseth-Sandlin.

Monday’s Inauguration shattered more than one glass ceiling.

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin is President of Augustana University, and once represented South Dakota in Congress.

She says the image of a female Vice President, gives a sense of inspiration.

“Across generations, across racial and ethnic backgrounds, across policy differences because we celebrate the first woman being elected to national office. That’s a historic day for all of us,” said Herseth-Sandlin.

State Rep. Erin Healy (D), said, “It was just a profound moment today and I was really proud to witness it online especially in this Capitol as a female and being able to serve our state as a legislator and being a woman in the minority.”

There was another female presence on stage today, offering a reminder of inspiration as someone who has also paved a critical path.

“I also thought it was a moving moment to see Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color on the supreme court, swear her in,” said Healy.

The U.S. also just celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Though it took 100 years to see a Female in the second-highest elected post, many are celebrating what this means for the future of our country.

Herseth-Sandlin said, “Nobody breaks barriers on their own and that’s why it’s important that we do consider the story of women who’ve been able to accomplish being first and breaking these barriers so that we can share those stories with our children and grandchildren.”

Monday also raises the hope for future generations, for breaking down the stigma that there’s systemic resistance against female leaders.

Herseth-Sandlin said, “For other young women and young men who recognize that, regardless of their gender, people should be at the table, people need to be brought in, we need to make the honor of serving accessible to more people. That’s what I think today, why it’s so meaningful for so many people.”

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