Sen. Kamala D. Harris will deliver the keynote address during Howard University’s 149th commencement convocation in May, the school announced Tuesday.
Harris will address members of the Class of 2017 along with their families, university trustees, officers, faculty, staff, and alumni on Saturday, May 13,
“Howard shaped, nurtured, and challenged me to soar on my chosen path, and I’m honored to speak to the class of 2017 to encourage them to pursue their own dreams and live up to the promise of Howard,” Harris said. “Howard University has instilled in generations of students the drive to serve others, and to truly believe that anything is possible.”
Harris, just the second black woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate, is also both the first African-American and first woman to serve as attorney general for the state of California.
Harris established California’s Bureau of Children’s Justice and fought to reduce elementary school truancy so that every California student can exercise his or her constitutional right to an education. As attorney general, Harris successfully sued predatory for-profit colleges that scam students and veterans.
“Throughout her trailblazing career, Senator Harris has demonstrated her commitment to youth in a variety of ways,” said HU President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “She is a leader in mentorship programs, has authored legislation to fight child exploitation and unashamedly shattered both racial and gender barriers. As we exclaim the necessity of Howard University’s legacy — now more than ever before — and focus our vision toward the future, I have no doubt that our graduates will find Senator Harris thought-provoking and inspiring.”