Written By: Isa Gonzalez Montilla
Little girls around the world are in for the most empowering bedtime treat on January 19, 2021. Meena Harris, niece of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, is coming out with an inspirational tale titled Ambitious Girl.
This book aims to reclaim, reframe, and redefine what it means to be ambitious for future female generations. There is a visible double standard between how boys and girls are being taught. Underestimating girls’ potential will come to a halt and cease to exist thanks to another one of Meena’s girl-power stories.
Harris has always been surrounded by powerful and hardworking women that never put limits on their abilities to succeed. Her mother, Maya Harris, who delivered Meena at 17 years old, is a civil rights lawyer, involved with the Ford Foundation, ACLU, and was a Senior Advisor to Hillary Clinton. Most recently she was an Advisor on the Kamala Harris campaign.
(Photo of Maya Harris, mother of Meena Harris)
It’s not surprising to trace back what seems to be a genetic passion for Civil Rights to Shyamala Gopalan Harris, Meena’s grandmother. After she immigrated to the United States from India, she was involved in many Civil Rights protests. Shyamala was also incredibly involved in breast cancer research, creating a community for black women and women of color around education and healing. One of Meena’s most emotional, yet proud family moments was when she watched her Aunt Kamala Harris win the Vice Presidential-Elect seat in the 2020 Presidential election.
As Meena watched these women thrive throughout their life, it influenced her to write her first New York Times-bestseller book “Kamala and Maya's Big Idea” which is based on a true story about her Aunt, Kamala, and her mother, Maya. The same inspiration, along with the efforts of her grandmother, pushed Meena to write this powerful book about ambitious women.
After entering the workforce as an adult, what Meena admired in her family as strength and determination was now seen as “power-hungry” and “too assertive”. Therefore, Harris created this book for young girls to read at night and wake up the next day with endless amounts of motivation and confidence, resulting in girls believing they can make their dreams come true.
(Photo of Meena Harris and her new book)
Ambitious Girl has the potential to break down socially constructed expectations commonly applied to women. This book is an early agent to inspire girls to reach their fullest potential as women and to let them know that they are powerhouses of society. Honestly, this is a must-read for everyone, but most importantly for those who have just birthed a beautiful female flower into this earth.