Kamala Harris calls on South Asians to â€œcontinue to lead with conviction, continue to strive to do the impossibleâ€
Indian American Impact Project hosted a first of its kind â€˜Dream with Ambitionâ€™ summit and gala with a call by Vice President Kamala Harris to â€œcontinue to lead with conviction, continue to strive to do the impossible.â€
The May 18 event to engage and mobilize the South Asian community and celebrate the AAPI Heritage Month featured over 300 prominent community members, according to a press release from Indian American Impact.
Besides Harris, all four Indian American US House members Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ami Bera as also celebrities, politicians, philanthropists and organizers attended.
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The â€˜Dream with Ambitionâ€™ summit was a successful educational experience for the guests as they explored the policy & advocacy and constituency subtopics of their choice, according to the release.
The event, it said, is Impactâ€™s latest push to energize and prepare the largest growing voting bloc in the country â€” South Asians â€” to integrate into their communities with knowledge on running for office, combating misinformation, mobilizing locally and all the tools with which to lead.
â€œAs you all know, when my mother was 19, she came to the United States from India to become a breast cancer researcher,â€ Harris, the first Indian American and first African American vice president recalled.
“She raised my sister and me to believe that we could be anything and do anything, if we set our minds to it. She taught us to â€˜Dream with Ambitionâ€™ and so many of you gathered here today have something special in common. You see what can be unburdened by what has been.â€
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â€œEvery day, in communities across our nation, you are advancing equality, opportunity and justice. You are inspiring the next generation of leaders, and in particular â€” the next generation of South Asian leaders,â€ Harris said.
â€œToday my message to you is this â€” let us always remember, what brought us to this moment and continue to dream with ambition, continue to lead with conviction, continue to strive to do the impossible.”
â€œBecause you, and we all, are standing on the shoulders of so many who came before, and living their dreams,” Harris said. â€œOur nation is counting on you, on Impact, and all of us to lead us forward.â€
â€œHistorically, South Asians have been overlooked, underestimated, and underrepresented politically,â€ said Indian American Impact executive-director Neil Makhija.
â€œBut after witnessing so many community members and future leaders come together this week, it is clear that is a thing of the past,â€ he said. â€œAt Impact, it is crucial for us to empower young South Asians to mobilize their friends and families to get involved in the political process.â€
â€œAs the fastest growing voting bloc in the country, we have strength in numbers and the future of the Democratic party needs to be reflective of the communities they serve.â€
â€œThe significance of this event was made possible by our extensive panel of guest speakers and attendees,â€ Makhija said. â€œCountless voices this week proved that our community is stronger when we collaborate and celebrate our intersectionality. Itâ€™s incredibly encouraging to imagine the possibilities for our collective futures.â€