Nolwen Cifuentes for TIME

Kamala Harris has always been a trailblazer. She broke barriers in California, made history in the U.S. Senate, and now she’s the first Black woman and first Indian American to be nominated for Vice President by a major political party.

Kamala’s nomination is the realization of a dream that so many have struggled for so long to make possible. She was raised by a strong woman rooted in community to be a strong woman rooted in community. Her life and career have been defined by a fierce commitment to public service and an abiding belief in government as a force for good.

I’ve been honored to work alongside Kamala in Congress and to bear witness to her passion, tenacity and dedication. In a moment when our communities are facing overlapping crises of public health, economic inequality and systemic racism, we’ve stood shoulder to shoulder to legislate together against discrimination in the response to COVID-19 and to support our local Black businesses.

Kamala every day embodies the beliefs and expectations of little girls and young women who see themselves in her. We speak of our elders and we say, “We are, because of them.” Years from now, a generation of young people will look at Kamala and say, “We are, because of her.”

Pressley is a Democratic Congresswoman from Massachusetts

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