Hope and inspiration. Those were the words of many who spoke with NBC Connecticut Thursday, saying Kamala Harris’ as vice president has given them just that.
Sharing the spotlight with President Joe Biden during his inauguration was Harris. The nations’ new vice president is the first woman, Black and South Asian American to hold the position.
Upon taking her oath of office, Harris not only became vice president but also a role model to so many.
“I think today was the reassurance that a lot of Black and brown girls needed,” said Afrin Tarafder, a high school senior at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.
Tarafder will attend Yale this fall. There, she will chase goals Wednesday's moment proved she can reach.
“It showed me that my dreams are attainable,” she said. “If I want to be a senator, I can be a senator. If I want to be a lawyer, I can be a lawyer.”
The significance of the inauguration was profound. Not only was it historic but it also sent a clear message to girls of all backgrounds.
“They can say to themselves, I can aspire to be just like her and go after something that they’ve dreamed about and make it a reality,” said Erica Gardner, president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.'s Manchester chapter.
Harris herself is also a sorority member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation’s oldest African American sorority.
Adrienne Cochrane, who is the CEO of the YWCA’s Hartford Region is also a Alpha Kappa Alpha member. She was in a celebratory mood, wearing a set of pearls representing the sorority and supporting Harris.
“There is a sense for me of hope and renewed hope that we are turning a page and what has been a really tumultuous four years,” said Cochrane.
Beyond inspiration, Vice President Harris will now help President Biden lead our nation. Cochrane is confident in her ability to do that.
“This is a woman of substance,” added Cochrane. “This is a woman that is going to be a very able and very intelligent partner.”
For many around the state, Harris’ new role was reason to celebrate and of course, there was cake. One with a symbolic twist. The Bear and Buby Bakery was approached by a customer, asking them to make something to commemorate the occasion.
“She wanted it to be like something big. A little over the top,” said Brian Bristol, who runs the bakery with his wife out of their Avon home.
The Bristols came up with what they call the “Glass Ceiling Cake.” It is a Grand Marnier flavored bundt cake. Covering the hole in the cake’s center is a glass-like top made of clear and hardened melted sugar.
“You break it with a hammer to symbolize the breaking of the glass ceiling in which Kamala is doing today by becoming the first female VP,” said Kelly Bristol.
Adding to the significance of the cake, was the number these bakers made: 46, in honor of our 46th President.