Vice President Kamala Harris’s NC A&T University Visit Aims to Inspire and Engage Young Voters
Vice President Kamala Harris began her "Fight for Our Freedoms" College Tour with a trip to Greensboro's historic North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T). Harris, the first woman and first HBCU graduate to hold the vice presidency, arrived at NC A&T alongside two distinguished alumni, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Oscar-winning actor Terrence Jenkins, better known as Terrence J.
The visit to NC A&T demonstrated the significance of HBCUs and the critical role they play in shaping the nation's future. Thousands of students packed the Corbett Sports Center to hear Harris speak on issues ranging from reproductive rights to climate change and student loans. One of the main goals of Harris' college tour is to inspire and engage young voters. Harris has already visited 11 college campuses this year in pursuit of this purpose.
“North Carolina A&T has a rich history in the ongoing fight for our freedoms,” noted Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., acknowledging the university's legacy, per NCAT. From its inception as the Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race in 1891 to the iconic 1960 sit-in led by four A&T freshmen, the university has stood as a symbol of enduring commitment to equality and justice. Congresswoman Alma Adams, a two-time A&T alumna said, “If you can’t change policy, then you need to change the policymakers. The way to do that is to vote." “Every vote you cast is a seed you plant for the future,” she added.
During her visit, Vice President Harris addressed several key problems that are important to young Americans. The first question Harris was asked was on gun violence and safety. Harris emphasized her administration's attempts to pass gun safety legislation, including a prohibition on assault weapons, universal background checks, and red flag regulations. She emphasized the importance of congressional action on these vital concerns, per WFMY News 2.
She then focused on reproductive rights. Harris highlighted her concerns about the Roe v. Wade decision and its ramifications for women. She underlined the importance of voting as a way for people to have their opinions heard and their reproductive rights protected. Harris talked passionately about climate change, applauding EPA Administrator Michael Regan's leadership. She acknowledged the difficulties of enacting change in Washington. Harris stressed the importance of recognizing that extreme climate changes affect different communities disproportionately.
In the context of recent efforts to restrict voting access, Harris encouraged students to understand the gravity of these attacks on voting. She underscored the necessity of preserving the right to vote, which plays a pivotal role in shaping the nation's future.
Harris' visit to NC A&T highlighted the critical role that historically black colleges and universities play in the political environment. For the past decade, NC A&T has not only been America's largest HBCU, but it has also risen to the status of a doctoral, research, land-grant institution.
Harris' campus tour is part of a larger campaign to engage people and generate support. According to Dr. John Dinan, a political science professor at Wake Forest University, the choice of states like Virginia and North Carolina is intentional, considering their potential significance as swing states. "It's important for the Democratic National Party to invest in North Carolina, not just to mobilize voters for the presidential tickets," Dinan stated, according to WXII12. "There's also a critical gubernatorial race and other races going on." Furthermore, the Vice President's emphasis on attending HBCUs allows her to engage with a wide audience.
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