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Harris reflects on time at Howard ahead of debate at an HBCU

The only Democratic candidate educated at a historically black college will have an opportunity to debate at at an HBCU Thursday evening when the field takes the stage for the third presidential debate, at Texas Southern University in Houston. Harris, who graduated from Howard University, cherished her time there and that was a message she wanted to convey to TSU’s students.

She took out a full-page ad in the student newspaper and wrote the students an open letter about her experience at Howard, which she ranked as one of the two things that had a “profound impact” on her life, just behind her mother and her family.

“I’ll always remember freshman orientation,” Harris recalled, “walking into the auditorium and seeing hundreds of people — and everyone looked like me.”

To attend an HBCU is, she said, to be “constantly reminded you are young, gifted and Black.” And that experience, she suggested, prepared her for spending “my career in rooms where I was the only one who looked like me. I know how important it is to center our voices in the conversation as we build an America we can all see ourselves in.”

Read more about Harris’ time at an HBCU, and how it shaped her, here.

– LaCrai Mitchell and Stephanie Ramirez


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