An auditorium filled with college students erupted into applause as Vice President Kamala Harris took the stage.

“Hey Panthers!,” Harris said into her microphone as she made her way to her seat across from rapper Fat Joe and actor and singer Anthony Ramos, who moderated a discussion with her.

Vice President Kamala Harris taking the stage at Florida International University. (Photo by Reynaldo Leaños Jr.)

Harris was in Miami, at Florida International University, which is the largest Hispanic Serving Institution in the country. It was one of the last stops in Harris’ Fight For Our Freedoms College Tour, which ran through the months of September and October. The goal of the tour was to mobilize students and young people across the country in what the Biden-Harris administration said is “the ongoing fight for fundamental freedoms and rights.”

Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, California, and has broken many barriers throughout her career.

In 2004, she became the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco and the first African American woman and South Asian woman in California to hold the office.

Then, in 2010, Harris became the Attorney General for the state of California, the first woman in the state to do so.

Flash forward to 2017 and Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator—only the second Black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Then, in 2020 Harris made history again by becoming the first Black, woman, South Asian American Vice President.

Maria Hinojosa preparing for the interview with Vice President Harris. (Photo by Reynaldo Leaños Jr.)

For this episode of Latino USA, host Maria Hinojosa and Producer Reynaldo Leaños Jr. traveled with Vice President Kamala Harris to Florida International University in Miami to see her in action.

Later, Maria sat down with Vice President Harris for a one-on-one interview where they discussed everything from immigration and climate anxiety to critiques of the Democratic Party and much more.

Editorial note: This interview was recorded in September of 2023 before the current crisis in Gaza began.


Featured image by Lawrence Jackson, The White House.

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