▶️ Local female leaders react to historic Kamala Harris vice presidency


A historic moment for women and people of color nationwide.

Today, Kamala Harris, became the first female and person of color, to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States.

Kerstin Arias, Central Oregon Diversity Project co-founder and black female leader, feels inspired by Wednesday’s inauguration.

“Black women. We have always either been second, we’ve either been behind, we’ve been not able to make it and to make it into something like this,” Arias said. “This is so significant.”

Arias has played a major role in local ‘Black Lives Matter’ rallies and said there is still work to be done in Central Oregon.

With her three sons at her side, Arias watched Vice President Harris be sworn in.

“They say things like, ‘Hey, Mom, that looks like you,’ and that right there alone is important to me,” Arias said. “They get to see that I could be that, they could be that, and other people get to be that.”

Carol Loesche, League of Women Voters of Deschutes County president, called the moment a big one for women everywhere.

“We’re determined,” Loesche said. “It took us a long time to even get the right to vote, so we’re not done yet. There’s still more work to be done and hopefully, in my lifetime, I hope to see a woman president.”

But today, for the first time in 230 years, there is a woman with the ‘Vice President’ title in the White House.

“It’s just unimaginable,” Loesche said. “It’s just surreal.”

“We can change, we can bring difference, we can add color, and that is what this country is about,” Arias said. “Diversity and inclusivity.”


Join the Conversation

Top Local Stories