November 9, 2020
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last—because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
– Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris
For a writing organization, we spent a lot of time looking at numbers last week.
And it’s official: the 2020 presidential election has gone to former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, who makes history as the first woman, Black American, South Asian American, HBCU graduate, and child of immigrants to hold the second-highest office in the United States.
Representation matters. In addition to Harris’ historic win, at least 131 women have been elected to Congress, up from 127. Nine LGBTQ+ candidates won their races for the U.S. House of Representatives. Six Native lawmakers will join Congress, a record number of Indigenous representatives. Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush of Ferguson, MO, and Jamaal Bowman, a former Bronx middle school principal, have expanded the group of politicians who are empowering a generation of first-time voters—another trend that we cheered this election season.
This is a moment to recognize and celebrate progress. Diverse communities of young people can now see paths for themselves that lead all the way to the White House.
At the same time, this election has held a mirror up to the painful truths of our divided country. There is deep work that needs to be done to root out centuries of systemic racism, xenophobia, and the culture of white supremacy, including at 826 Boston. We recently shared our DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) statement and action plans, which have been built into our team goals. Our learning never stops—as individuals, as an organization, and as a country.
Our mission at 826 Boston is to amplify the voices and stories of the next generation of young leaders. From performance poetry to civic engagement projects, students share the beauty and brilliance of their imaginations, and advocate for themselves and their vision for the future. In the weeks and months ahead, we are committed to providing students with safe spaces and resources as they process this profound chapter in history, and explore their own dreams in a country of possibilities.
We thank the poll workers and volunteers who continue to tirelessly count each vote as the world watches on. We extend our gratitude to the grassroots movements, many Black and POC-led, who fight for our democracy and help get out the vote. And we once again applaud the record-breaking number of young voters who cast their ballots in this election and made their voices heard.
826 Boston Executive Director