A message from the the office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
Today is a great day in our HERSTORY. Regardless of political affiliation or ideology, I hope that we can all be proud of a day when Kamala Harris, the FIRST Black and Indian Woman, is inaugurated as the Vice President of the United States of America, and sworn in by The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the United States, the FIRST Latina appointed to the Supreme Court.
This moment in time is a FIRST, never to be forgotten, but to serve as a reminder that things can change. Yes, our society has a long way to go and much to accomplish to overcome a storied history of racism, discrimination and oppression based on our various identities, but hopefully we can look at today as an example of what was once inconceivable...becoming a reality. Representation matters! To see Vice President Harris and Justice Sotomayor on the Capitol platform means that people of color and women can see themselves in the highest positions in American government. But representation does not stop there...representation matters for ALL!
On a personal note, I am proud to share in a sisterhood with Vice President Harris, in our common membership of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (the FIRST historically Black sorority). Today I proudly wear my sorority colors of pink and green and a strand of pearls like thousands of my sorority sisters across the globe. I am also personally moved by this moment, because when I see Kamala Harris, I see my younger sister who is also Black and Indian, who knows now more than ever there are no limits to what she can do or achieve.
To add to these HERSTORY FIRSTS, just yesterday it was announced that President Joe Biden is nominating our very own Dr. Rachel Levine (2017 Honorary Doctorate Recipient and Commencement Speaker), Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania, to be Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. This could make Dr. Levine the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation. Again, representation matters. We are SALUS PROUD of Dr. Levine!
In highlighting today's HERSTORY and FIRSTS, I hope you share in the PRIDE of this time, but also share in the HOPE that these FIRSTS will be followed by a SECOND, THIRD, FORTH, etc...until there are too many to count and we achieve a society where this becomes our NORM.
Juliana (Dr. J)
Special Assistant to the President for DEI