St. Paul, Minn — Duchess Harris, professor of political science and American studies, has been named to the project advisory board for The Kamala Harris Project. Coordinated by the Dornsife Center for Leadership by Women of Color at University of Southern California, the Project consists of a collective of scholars across disciplines who will track all aspects of Kamala Harris’ tenure as the nation’s first woman of color to serve as vice president.

“When I realized that I was one of six women chosen for the advisory board, I was honored to have the privilege of joining a conversation with the most esteemed scholars on women of color in politics,” said Dr. Harris. 

Serving with Prof. Harris on the advisory board are Nadia Brown of Georgetown University, Pearl K. Dowe of Emory University, Sangay Mishra of Drew University, Sara Sadhwani of Pomona College, Brooklyne Gipson of University of Illinois, Wendy Smooth of Ohio State University, and Angela Lewis Maddox of University of Alabama, Birmingham. The project’s conveners are USC professors Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, Jane Junn, Oneka LaBennett, and Francille Wilson.

The author of numerous books including “Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Trump” and an expert on Black women in American politics, Dr. Harris has been quoted in numerous national media outlets, including NBC News, The Lily, and The Hill, about Kamala Harris’ rise to the second-most powerful position in U.S. government. She believes the Vice President’s achievements will ultimately transcend  American politics. 

“She will be a role model for generations to come,” said Prof. Harris. “In addition to being a powerful woman of color, she will help the world think about gender roles in family structures. Her husband’s role as Second Gentleman will send a message to younger generations that men can support women’s careers.”

The Kamala Harris Project plans to host an academic symposium in May to mark the Vice President’s first 100 days in office and will produce a series of publications over the next five years looking at issues such as Harris’ policy priorities and speeches, as well as shifts in public opinion during her tenure. 

Prof. Harris said it’s still too early to determine what her contributions to the Project will look like, but she knows where her focus will be.  

“I am most interested in how she governs the Senate and how her lawmaking is depicted in the media,” she said. 

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February 3 2021

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