Founding Mothers Reflect: America Now Free to Be You and Me Again

It’s a herstoric moment. It’s a historic day. It’s the end of the reign of terror that lasted four years under President Donald Trump. It’s the day that a woman of color ascends to one of the highest roles of leadership for our country.

Ms. Foundation Founding Mothers, from left to right: Gloria Steinem, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Marlo Thomas, Patricia Carbine. (Image credit: Ms. Foundation for Women)

Many women leaders have been inspired to speak today, to tell of how they are experiencing this massive shift in representation for our leadership, which we believe will lead us to becoming a better country. Here are some great responses and reflections from the Founding Mothers of the Ms. Foundation, all incredibly strong and enduring women leaders who capture the monumental nature of this event with their words. They are introduced by Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

From  Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger:

“It took 100 years since women first secured a right to vote for women of color to lead the nation in electing the first woman to leadership in the White House. The founders and leaders of the Ms. Foundation for Women have long awaited this moment. We congratulate President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and look forward to seeing a woman of color sitting at the head of the Senate, ushering in a new era for women in politics.”

From Ms. Foundation Founding Mother Gloria Steinem:

“In 1972, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm took the “white male only” sign off the White House door by running for the Presidency of the United States.  I celebrate her, President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, and each one of the women and men who have led to this moment when Vice President Kamala Harris brings us a step closer to democracy.” 

From Ms. Foundation Founding Mother Patricia Carbine: 

“On this historic day, we must remember those who broke the path for our new Vice-President, Kamala Harris. Let us remember Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and the first woman to run for President; Geraldine Ferraro, Congresswoman for  six years before becoming the first female vice-presidential nominee of a major political party; and Hillary Clinton, First Lady who won a Senate seat, served as Secretary of State, and then won the popular vote in the 2016 Presidential race. They surely are cheering along with us at the Ms. Foundation as Kamala Harris becomes America’s Vice President, lifting our spirits and our sights to a just and equal future.” 

From Ms. Foundation Founding Mother Letty Cotton Pogrebin: 

“I never imagined it would take so long but now that we’ve actually witnessed this euphoric landmark — the first woman, who is also the first person of color, ascending to the second highest position in the nation — I’m feeling ecstatic and proud. At the same time, I’m also bowing to the memory of Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferraro, and the millions of ordinary women who fought and dreamed of this breakthrough but did not live to see it.  Congratulations to Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden and the entire Biden-Harris team. ”

From Ms. Foundation Founding Mother Marlo Thomas: 

“Nearly 50 years ago, we imagined a world in which all of us — sisters and brothers of every gender orientation and color in the rainbow — would be Free to Be You and Me. Now a woman of Jamaican and Indian heritage has ascended to the nation’s second most powerful office. We celebrate our extraordinary Vice President Kamala Harris — and all women warriors who came before her — and wish her and our new president love, success, and God’s grace.”  


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Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

One thought on “Founding Mothers Reflect: America Now Free to Be You and Me Again”

  1. What a historic, moving and brilliant moment and what you, my sisters, have contributed to make it happen. Congrats!

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