Indian American Senator Kamala Harris will be giving the commencement address to the 2018 graduating class of the University of California, Berkeley on Saturday, May 12 at the California Memorial Stadium, according to a university press release.
This will be the first time that Harris will be speaking at a UC Berkeley commencement ceremony
“My parents met at UC Berkeley when they were active in the civil rights movement, so this university will always mean a great deal to me. I look forward to speaking to these young people who are on the verge of the next chapter of their lives and represent the future of our country,” Harris told the university.
The group of UC Berkeley students responsible for planning parts of the commencement exercises, called the Californians, nominated Harris to speak to the audience of about 40,000 graduates, parents and other guests.
“She embodies a lot of the ideals that the UC Berkeley campus embodies. She is very fearless and vocal, and she shares her opinions about issues in the news. And at UC and UC Berkeley, we are usually like that as well. We fight against any injustices that we see,” said Jessica Li-Jo, the president of the group’s Senior Class Council who is also a cognitive science major.
According to the university press release, the Californian Senator has stood out as a fierce defender for the state and its people in the last year and be a potential presidential candidate in the future.
Harris was born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father, she graduated from Howard University in 1986 and earned her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in 1989.
She was elected as San Francisco’s district attorney in 2003 and California’s attorney general in 2010, before being elected to the Senate in 2016 where she serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget.
Harris is married to Doug Emhoff and is a stepmother to Ella and Cole Emhoff.