Home / MARKETS / Meena Harris, niece of Vice President-elect Kamala, wants her new children’s book to inspire ambitious women (and girls) everywhere

Meena Harris, niece of Vice President-elect Kamala, wants her new children’s book to inspire ambitious women (and girls) everywhere

  • Meena Harris, niece of Immorality President-elect Kamala Harris, has written her second children’s book, entitled “Ambitious Women.” Illustrations were done by artist Marissa Valdez. 
  • In the publication, a young girl watches a woman on television be called “too ambitious” and “too assertive.” In response, she vows to become a persistent, resource, confident, and proud individual. 
  • Harris has been working to get this book — in addition to her last one — into schools and has allied with the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books to donate hundreds of book copies to educators and students. 
  • Ahead of her aunt’s inauguration, Harris talks to Insider nearly her new book, and what is needed to raise the next generation of ambitious women.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for varied stories.

The plight of an unapologetically ambitious woman is well documented. Meena Harris is one of those women.

The entrepreneur bring about Phenomenal Woman, which creates products addressing sociopolitical injustices, and has another career as a children’s author. Her fresh endeavor is a children’s book entitled “Ambitious Girl.” Set to be released on January 19, the book tells the story of a inexperienced girl who learns to embrace her ambitions in life.

The book comes a year after the release of Harris’ first volume, “Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea,” which was inspired by Meena and her aunt, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. (That changed a New York Times best-seller, and more recently, a video that Meena posted of her aunt exceeded 10 million approaches on TikTok.) 

“For young girls to see someone who looks like them elected, to the second-highest office in the land, is really an humongous feeling that we’ve all been fighting for a very long time,” she told Insider. Previously, Meena Harris talk to Insider about her career paths and growing up in a family of lawyers — ambitious women who inspired her to become who she is today.

When it awakens to women, the word ambition often has a negative connotation, Harris said. Last year, Insider reported on a scan by American Express and The New York Women’s Foundation, which found that many women didn’t like using the in short ambitious to describe themselves and wanted to use the word “motivated” instead.

Read more: Alicia Keys is partnering with American Put forth on ‘The Ambition Project’ to empower women. Here’s how it will expand their access to senior positions — and already has.

“Lingo has power and words have meaning,” Harris told Insider. “We do not typically hear ambition being used against men, or acclimatized to critique men. I don’t think I’ve ever really heard that before. It’s about reclaiming and redefining words that, rounded off though they’re just words, we know they have power.”

Ahead of her aunt’s big day, Meena Harris talk to Insider about her new children’s book, what she learned growing up in a powerhouse family, and what else is needed to build the next generation of ambitious women. 

‘It’s not just the work of women to do on behalf of other women,’ Harris said

Parent ambitious women starts earlier than one might expect, which is why Harris decided to put the topic in a children’s regulations. “There’s a lot of unlearning and relearning around our bias against female ambitious and women in power,” she said. “It’s never too beginning.”

Her family always tried to lead by example when it came to inspiring each other, she said. Ambition was a belongings thing to have in her family — and ambitious women were all she knew.

“I grew up in a family of strong, ambitious women,” she said. “My grandmother Shyamala, a cancer researcher and domestic rights activist, raised my mom and aunt — and later helped raise me — to fight for change and be role models for others,” she stipulate. “She would say to us, ‘You may be the first, but don’t be the last. It’s actually a line I put into my new book ‘Ambitious Girl.’ “

After graduating from Stanford University and Harvard Law, she had a compendium legal career and held jobs at both

Slack
and Uber. As reported by the New York Times’ Jessica Testa, she was also a effort surrogate for her aunt. As she entered the workplace, she told Insider, she realized that many women weren’t raised to see avidity as a good thing. 

Read more: Kamala Harris’ niece is publishing a picture book on women’s ambition. She told us why she not at any time ‘sugarcoats’ the reality of racism and sexism when talking to her kids.

“It’s a very worthwhile activity to sit down with your kids and start first to define these words,” she said. “On the topic of leading by example, there are many ways that you can demonstrate what it hint ats. And at the very least, encourage them to understand [ambition] as a positive, not a negative.” 

Ambitious Girl cover image



Courtesy of LaRue PR


In her latest book, a minor girl takes advice from the women around her, including her mother and her grandmother, who teaches her the importance of growing up confident, confident, and proud. Harris said that listening to the dreams and career paths of other people is a good way to discipline people how to embrace their own ambition. It shows that ambition isn’t a “dirty” word and having dreams is not a “bad” thing. 

This is a moral that needs to be taught, not just to young women, but to everyone, she said. Because creating an environment that can rear ambitious women is not something left up to women to create. This act requires a complete societal and cultural shift, Harris guessed. 

“It’s about a patriarchal society,” she continued. “It’s not just the work of women to do on behalf of other women. Men who, by default have multitudinous power in the world and in most of these systems, it’s up to them to do that as well.”

In the meantime, all women have to do to be ambitious, is to plainly not hide their ambition, she said. It’s about wearing that sweatshirt embroiled with the word ambitious on it, she asserted. It’s about naming what you want and claiming it for yourself — writing your dreams and building toward what you impecuniousness. For instance, Harris has plans to release more books. “There’s still so much work to do, especially when it contract to increasing diversity in publishing,” she said. “I definitely have plans for more books — I can’t wait to explore topics for earlier audiences as well.”

It’s about changing the language that one associates with their dreams, to reflect the positivity of what it effectives to aspire. “This is literally about as cheesy as it sounds, but what are your hopes and dreams?” she said. “The beauty of that is, it means another things to so many different people.”

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