I saw so much of my mother and my aunt, and them becoming powerful women in the world starting in their 20s. Meena Harris . The notion of activism or taking action is just something that’s foreign, and it seems specialized and unfamiliar and big. In 1984, during her senior year of high school, Maya Harris became pregnant—a part of her life that she’s private about. Meenakshi “Meena” Ashley Harris is the daughter of Kamala Harris’ sister, Maya Harris. (Instagram), "It was never supposed to be anything more than a side project...but it's really gratifying to pour your heart and soul into something, work you're a-- off, and see it in the world embraced by the communities it's intended for," Harris told, Kamala Harris' niece reveals sexist, racist criticism the Vice President faces, , Meena said her daughters were "incredibly strong-willed and independent" but also "so loving. Meena is a niece of Senator of California, Kamala Harris. Inspired to write after becoming a mother for the first time, Harris told Glamour, "Wouldn't it be great if we had actual stories and real character development around girls—girls that look like mine, that were black and brown children? When we are talking about things like systemic racism and systematic oppression of underrepresented communities, it's a reminder that the world needs to see and hear over and over until there is full accountability, equality, and justice for all, not just a privileged few.". "And same [with] Kamala. Harris was raised in Berkeley, California. Meena Harris is a mother to daughters Amara, 4, and Leela, 2, whom she shares with her partner Nikolas Ajagu. Oprah Magazine participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. We may earn commission from the links on this page. White House officials say that Meena would be prohibited from publishing that book now because it uses Kamala’s name in the title and her likeness on the cover, which is a drawing of a younger Kamala with Maya Harris, Meena’s mother.” "It meant purpose, it meant power, it meant determination, it meant having a dream and going after it, even when other people tried to tell you it couldn't be done.". She's a graduate of Harvard Law School and the founder of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign — and she happens to be incredibly close with her aunt, Kamala. ", It's something she was undoubtedly thinking about when her aunt was sworn in as the Vice President. "I can’t tell you how many young adults, how many grown adults have asked me over time, whether it was when I was an advocate or in politics, "What can I do? (Instagram), "I got to see her go to law school. The groundbreaking former senator from California made history … Just like her aunt (who has somehow managed to write three books in her spare time), Meena is also an author. On October 20, which also happens to be her older sister's birthday, she gave birth to her daughter, Meena. "If you were going to actually be in the conversation and state a point of view, then you ought to be able to either explain that point of view or defend that point of view," Maya said in an interview with Glamour. Maya and Tony quickly became close friends, but it wasn’t until a few years after graduation that they started dating. Meena Harris published her first book titled Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea in June 2020. fashion could be "one of the most personal and public ways we express ourselves", particularly for women. Reflecting on her "unique" upbringing, Meela told Glamour: "I grew up surrounded by these strong, brilliant women who showed me what it meant to show up in the world with purpose and intention. Following Donald Trump's election, Harris founded the Phenomenal Woman Action campaign in 2017, to shine a light on social causes, including educational excellence and healthcare equity. "Legit thought @KamalaHarris was going to hit me over the head with the celery and/or wooden spoon," Harris tweeted about her aunt during one tense cooking session. Meena is a married woman herself. As aforementioned, she is from the family of those Harris women. But it is estimated to be $1 million. “We waited for the most inconvenient time to actually get together—he was in D.C. and I was in the Bay Area,” Maya told Stanford Lawyer. Luckily, she gets a real assist from her partner, Nikolas Ajagu. However, they are not married yet. “That represents, in all of it and in every form and all its glory, what ambition means, and what happens when you dare to do something even though people all along would say it’s not possible simply because it’s never happened before. For Meena Harris, it’s also in her blood. "My partner, Nik, is a full-time dad and I am working on Phenomenal full time...I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without him because laundry, work, Zoom—everything is a full-time job." Auto news: BMW i8 production to end in April - caradvice.com.au. "I just idolized them—these incredible women who were all around me." Then, there's Vice President Kamala Harris, who, among many other firsts, will be the first female vice president; and there's her younger sister, Maya Harris, a civil rights lawyer and public policy advocate, who once led the nation's largest ACLU affiliate. An author. Meena Harris always thought she was going to be a lawyer. had a spotlight thrust upon her on last week's Inauguration Day, and while she clearly comes from a line of strong women, Meena's career and achievements make her one to watch in her own respect. She is the daughter of Maya Harris who is a renowned American lawyer, policy expert, and television commentator. Meena Harris aka Meenakshi Ashley Harris was born on 20 October 1984 in Oakland, California, the United States. “It’s a family joke that Meena knew we should be together long before we did.”, Nearly a decade after they first met, the pair got married in 1998, and today, the two are very proud parents—and grandparents. I had a front-row seat for all of it. The younger one is very playful, smiles constantly, and tickling her elicits the most delicious giggles. The younger one is very playful, smiles constantly, and tickling her elicits the most delicious giggles. “'Too ambitious' succeeded, didn’t it?” Meena tells OprahMag.com. Harris was raised in a home of powerful female figures, telling The Times: "A feminist household is all I've ever known.". ", "The older one is more serious, and loves books, but she also has a great sense of humor. pic.twitter.com/O5kM9bblP0, ...showing off her green beans via FaceTime, @KamalaHarris FaceTimed me to show me her string beans and I feel slightly better pic.twitter.com/x8tinbP5ER, I am absolutely unable to get over this video of @KamalaHarris dancing in the rain in chucks. Meena Harris's father is Tony West Meena Harris's mother is Maya Harris. The sneakers worn by Agaju were released in 2020 in tandem with the 35th anniversary of the … Through her mother, she is the granddaughter of civil rights activist Shyamala Gopalan and the niece of senator Kamala Harris. Whether it's humble moments like cooking together for family meals, or snapping Kamala dancing in converse to rapper Cardi B's songs, Harris excels in offering a truly candid comedic style. Born on October 20, 1986, her age is 36 at present. “That’s all I knew, because my whole family was this little unit of me, my grandma, my mom, and my aunt, and it’s what I would see every day.”, Which is why the book is dedicated to the woman who taught not just Meena, but also Maya and Kamala the importance of ambition and grit: her grandmother, Shyamala. (Instagram), Kamala Harris' subtle jabs at Donald Trump's impeachment makes waves online. Meena Harris’s parents are Maya Harris and Tony West, who is her stepdad. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. So, in true Harris fashion, Meena took matters into her own hands and published Kamala and Maya's Big Idea last year. "But there is substance and meaning behind it. They also have two daughters together. Just as her uncle, Douglas Emhoff, is the ultimate Instagram husband, Meena is the ultimate Instagram niece (yes, we've decided that's a thing). That it was something to be celebrated," Harris told Oprah magazine. "Once I became a mom and we started looking through children’s literature for our girls, I felt it was great that in the last three to five years there’s been this burst of literature around historical women," she told Glamour. If you know one of those energetic young Republicans, do get in touch and I will be happy to share their point of view with the readers as well. She is the daughter of Maya Harris, the sister of current US Vice President Kamala Harris. She did, after all, grow up in a family of lawyers. "My Aunt Kamala takes *very seriously* her role as a great aunt in helping to shape my daughters," Meena said in the same interview with NBC News. For the Harris women, social change and female empowerment is a family affair. (Getty), The campaign has been joined by A-list ambassadors including Serena Williams, Jessica Alba, Mark Ruffalo, Janelle Monae and Lizzo. — Meena Harris (@meenaharris) January 20, 2021. “When Aunt Kamala and mom were young and would come home from school complaining about something they felt was unfair, my grandma would reply, ‘Well, what are you going to do about it? Here's a deep dive into the powerhouse public figure. It meant purpose, it meant power, it meant determination, it meant having a dream and going after it, even when other people tried to tell you it couldn't be done,” she tells OprahMag.com. Her aunt is Vice President-elect of the United States Kamala Harris. (Case in point: West, a former official in the Obama Justice Department and now the Chief Legal Officer at Uber, even uses the Instagram handle @meenasdad.). So it's no surprise that Meena—like her mom and aunt—went into law, graduating from Harvard Law School after getting her bachelor's degree at Stanford. "If you were going to actually be in the … Meenakshi Ashley Harris was born in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1984. While Harris assumed she'd only sell a few hundred, the lawyer ended up selling 2,500 on the first day and sparking a movement. "[In our house,] we have a unique situation where traditional gender roles are flipped," she told Marie Claire. Her grandmother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a cancer researcher and civil rights activist; her mother, Maya Harris, is a lawyer and policy expert; and her aunt, Kamala Harris, is Vice President-Elect of the United States. ", "I was raised to believe that ambition was a good thing. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, A Look at Joe and Jill Biden’s Beautiful Romance, Chasten Buttigieg on His Enduring Marriage, Joe Biden's Dogs Major and Champ Have Tons of Fans, Kamala Harris's Step-Kids Call Her "Momala", 8 Things to Know About Kamala Harris' Husband, 20 of Kamala Harris's Most Inspiring Quotes, What You Need to Know About Joe Biden's Children, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden’s Astrology Charts, 27 Political Books to Read Before the Election. Harris told Vogue India fashion could be "one of the most personal and public ways we express ourselves", particularly for women. That it was something to be celebrated." "She was deliberate, and I know this may seem cliché, but she was deliberate about teaching us that we could be anything, that we could do anything," Maya told Glamour. ", "Our little family unit was just women, fierce women: my grandmother, my mum, my aunt and me." @KamalaHarris pic.twitter.com/C8pkMRyeEr, ...being photobombed by President Joe Biden, Legit thought @KamalaHarris was going to hit me over the head with the celery and/or wooden spoon. Meena Harris' mother, Maya Harris, is the sister of Vice President Kamala Harris. Meena Harris Wiki Facts. She thought she'd sell a couple hundred and donate the profits to organizations like Planned Parenthood and Girls Who Code. Her recognition grew in 2020, the time her aunt was campaigning for the US Election, which is also when she released a book titled Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea . Meena Harris is also a children’s book author; Her parents are – Maya Harris (mother) and Tony West, age 54, (step-father) Both of her parents are a lawyer "It was never supposed to be anything more than a side project...but it's really gratifying to pour your heart and soul into something, work you're a-- off, and see it in the world embraced by the communities it's intended for," Harris told People. I just idolised them—these incredible women who were all around me.". The campaign has been joined by A-list ambassadors including Serena Williams, Jessica Alba, Mark Ruffalo, Janelle Monae and Lizzo. Meena Harris was born into a family of ambitious women whose legacy continues to inspire her. "A statement T-shirt can seem so small and insignificant, especially compared to the enormity of the social change that's happening before our eyes," Meena said in the same People interview. Meena Harris is a name you can expect to see and hear more regularly over the next four years. It started with the late Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a prominent breast cancer researcher, civil rights activist, and single mother of two daughters, Kamala and Maya. "If she had her way, the girls (only 2 and 4 years old) would be on the campaign trail with her every day.". Like her mother, the 36-year-old is a lawyer—but that’s not all. Meena's mother Maya was a senior policy adviser on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign campaign but, when she gave birth to Meena, she was just 17 and still at high school. (Instagram / @meena) The hooded coats, now called "Kamala", were designed and handmade for the sisters by I Love Plum — a female-founded childrenswear brand based in New York City. She is married to Nikolas Ajagu. Meena Harris. At just 36 years old, the Harvard-educated lawyer is the founder and CEO of Phenomenal (a female-powered organization that brings awareness to various social causes), a best-selling children's book author (she published Ambitious Girl on January 19 and Kamala and Maya's Big Idea last year), and is the mother of two young daughters herself. Sure, she’s always encouraged me to run for office, but she never pressured me, and she also let me know that I could make an impact in other ways. In addition, Meena’s grandmother, Shyamala Gopalan was an Indian-American cancer researcher and civil rights activist while her grandfather is a Jamaican-American professor of economics at Standford. Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and had a brief legal career before deciding to forge her own path. Meena Harris’s childhood picture with her mother, Picture Source: Meena’s Instagram. "And we were really made to believe that. I had a front-row seat for all of it.". Meenakshi Ashley Harris, known popularly as Meena Harris, is a lawyer, author, and women’s activist. "That’s very much how my mom was, and I think Meena would probably attest that’s how I was as a mom too, and still am." The child of a teen single parent, Harris was inspired by her mother's personal education journey. “‘Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea,’ which was published in June 2020 before Biden picked Kamala as vice president, poses further ethical knots. ", . Lawyer, entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author Meena Harris will read her newest picture book, “Ambitious Girl.” A true story based on her mother, Maya, and aunt, Vice President Kamala Harris, this is this perfect story for anyone who’s ever felt underestimated or overshadowed. At first, Harris was inspired by the famous Maya Angelou poem of the same name, and printed shirts that read "Phenomenal Woman" to sell and donate to charities. Her debut book is based on the life story of her mother Maya Harris and her aunt Kamala Harris. Harris was born to American parents; father Tony West and mother Maya Harris. RELATED: Kamala Harris' subtle jabs at Donald Trump's impeachment makes waves online. Senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, speaking up for what she believes in has always been a way of life. That it was something to be celebrated," Harris told, "I was raised to believe that ambition was a good thing. Watch the brand new series It's A Sin now on Stan. "Especially these days, that form of self-expression has become even more important," she added. ", On her first day of classes at Stanford Law School, Maya's then four-year-old daughter Meena introduced her mom to fellow law student Tony West after engaging him in a game of hide-and-seek on the campus's Arthur E. Cooley Courtyard. Not to mention that the girls are surrounded by loving grandparents and an equally doting great aunt. Meena Harris, 36, is the daughter of Maya Harris, and has been a visible member of her aunt's family on the campaign trail. ", In the four years since, her T-shirt business has grown into the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, which not only sells tees, but also sweatshirts, hats, leggings, socks, and bodysuits—all of which raise awareness around issues that affect underrepresented communities with celebratory sayings like "Phenomenally Latina," "Phenomenally Indigenous,""Phenomenally Human," "Phenomenal Mother," and "Black Lives Matter" to name a few. "So I got to see her go to law school. "Aunt Kamala always emphasized this lesson to me by urging me to make my own unique contributions to issues I care about. "When I Love Plum heard back from Meena and that she … Author and activist Meena Harris tells … The children's book that tells the true story of how sisters Maya and Kamala turned an unused courtyard in their apartment building into an area for kids. (One example: You may be the first, but don't be the last.) Here is everything we know about Nikolas, the partner of this American lawyer, activist, and tech-policy expert, Meena Harris. "I grew up surrounded by these strong, brilliant women who showed me what it meant to show up in the world with purpose and intention," Meena told Glamour earlier this year. With that remarkable résumé in mind, we found out a little bit more about Kamala Harris's niece, Meena Harris. But on the first day, she sold 2,500. "Especially these days, that form of self-expression has become even more important," she added. This content is imported from Twitter. Making change is basically in Meena Harris’s DNA.. Taking matters into her own hands, the lawyer published two books - one co-penned by the now-Vice-President - about ambition and activism to inspire young children. As of now, details relating to her real biological father has been kept hidden. So it should come as no surprise that Maya's daughter, Meena Harris, is carrying on that legacy—with a list of achievements that are equally impressive. When Harris was 12, she and her sister moved with their mother to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she had accepted a position doing research at Jewish General Hospital and teaching at McGill University.She was a popular student at Westmount High School in Westmount, Quebec. Meena Harris was born on October 20, 1984, in Oakland, California as Meenakshi "Meena" Ashley Harris to parent Maya Harris. She was brought up by her mother, grandmother and an aunt who this week became the first female vice-president of the United States. Meena has authored two children's books, Kamala and Maya's Big Idea and Ambitious Girl.Inspired to write after becoming a mother for the first time, Harris … When she's not posting about her work, her activism, or her daughters, there's a good chance she's sharing pictures and videos of her aunt on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, whether she's prepping for a commencement address... Presidential @KamalaHarris pic.twitter.com/QnmuZPY1qN, Peanut butter and bananas on toast with Funtie...and a special surprise. "It all goes back to her. "Like a lot of people, in that moment I found myself wondering what I personally could do to lift up women, make my voice heard, and support issues I cared about," Meena told People in an interview this summer. Our editors handpick the products that we feature. Her mother, Maya Harris, is a well-known civil rights advocate who worked as an executive director of the A.C.L.U. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. "I wanted to include her and memorialize the values that my grandmother taught me and doing it to kind of honor her in raising these two girls who became these incredible, powerful, ambitious women with big ideas," Meena told Harper's Bazaar. Her mother is married to the general counsel of Uber Tony West. How can I help?" Meena Harris, 36, no longer sells her range of t-shirts and swimsuits following a pledge by the Biden administration to 'uphold the highest ethical standards'. For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter. Meena Harris, a lawyer and CEO of the lifestyle brand Phenomenal, is the daughter of Kamala Harris' sister, Maya. Event Cost: Free, registration required. Harris has two daughters, Amara and Leela, with her partner Nikolas Ajagu. I saw so much of my mother and my aunt, and them becoming powerful women in the world starting in their 20s. She’s actually the first in our nation’s whole history.”, Not only is Meena an entrepreneur, attorney, author, and founder, but she's also the mother of two adorable daughters—who are both under the age of five. Plus, her aunt Kamala was the first black person, the first South Asian person and the first woman ever to hold the office of Vice President. I got to see her go through her first law firm job," she told, 15 mouth-watering snacks all under 150 calories, Palace releases new photo of Crown Princess Mary for her 49th birthday, Valentine's Day gift ideas beauty lovers will actually want. People are so busy with their daily lives, they’re often just trying to make it—going to work, taking kids to school, doing child care. 8 Things To Know About Kamala Harris's Sister, Meet Kamala Harris' Parents: Shyamala and Donald. In the vintage family photo, Kamala is joined by her younger sister, Maya Harris, who is Meena's mother. Meet the children of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' families, Meena Harris, niece of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, arrives the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. If there's one key takeaway from Harris' social media presence, it's her incredible ability to capture hilarious behind-the-scenes moments of her powerful family. We did win our district.”, For the Presidential election, Meena is the go-to person in Silicon Valley for small fundraisers held by individuals. "I think that’s super important, but I also had this feeling like, Well, wouldn’t it be great if we had actual stories and real character development around girls—girls that look like mine, that were black and brown children?" But not right now—you have to be over the age of 35. Her mother, Maya Harris, is a lawyer and policy expert. That it was something to be celebrated. The niece of Vice-President Kamala Harris had a spotlight thrust upon her on last week's Inauguration Day, and while she clearly comes from a line of strong women, Meena's career and achievements make her one to watch in her own respect. Vice President Kamala Harris's two great-nieces, Amara and Leela Ajagu, are already budding style stars. "The older one is more serious, and loves books, but she also has a great sense of humor. For the inauguration, the doting mum dressed the sisters in fur coats similar to one her aunty Kamala used to wear as a child. A young Kamala Harris front and centre. "This book is focused on children, but I think that the overarching message is relevant to people of all ages," Maya told Glamour. Meena Harris Husband Parents Details: Meena Harris is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend Nikolas Ajagu. Her aunt, Kamala Harris, serves as the Vice President-elect of the United States and a United States Senator from California. pic.twitter.com/TD38hUISN2. Yes, she is the daughter of lawyer and policy expert Maya Harris. ", It also helped that Meena got to witness the impact of those words firsthand: "I had a 17-year-old single mom," she told Harper's Bazaar. In an interview with Mother, Meena said her daughters were "incredibly strong-willed and independent" but also "so loving. At just 36, the Harvard-educated lawyer is a CEO, best-selling author and mother to two young daughters. And the most basic meaning is people proclaiming to the world that they are worthy, deserving of dignity and proud. "I got to see her go to law school. Meena Harris, the 36-year-old niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, has told of being raised by three strong and independent women - her grandmother, mother and aunt. Meena followed in her mother and aunt’s footsteps—sort of. ", So, how does she do it? ", "Our little family unit was just women, fierce women: my grandmother, my mum, my aunt and me. "They are both incredibly strong-willed and independent but also are so loving," Meena revealed in an interview with Mother. Harris was raised in a home of powerful female figures, telling, : "A feminist household is all I've ever known. ", And even though she's just four years old, her older daughter, Amara, already seems to be just as ambitious as the Harris women: In a video recently posted on Twitter, the Vice President-elect can be heard telling Amara (who, according to Meena, wants to be both an astronaut and a president), "You could be president. This content is imported from Instagram. The event gave us a glimpse into Harris' sartorial flair; on Instagram, she regularly shows her love of off the shoulder gowns, slogan shirts, and power suits. Happy Birthday to my favorite birthday twin ❤️ pic.twitter.com/mDihO66oWK, A single mom, Maya stayed home while getting her undergraduate degree at the University of California-Berkeley and putting herself through Stanford Law School—which allowed Meena to spend lots of quality time with her grandmother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who taught her many of the same lessons that she previously instilled in Maya and Kamala. As the daughter of Maya Harris, a political correspondent and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton, and niece of U.S. Long term relationship with her boyfriend Nikolas Ajagu is substance and meaning behind.... Specialized and unfamiliar and Big has been joined by her mother 's personal education journey titled and! It ’ s not all and imported onto this page to help users provide their email.. Mark Ruffalo, Janelle Monae and Lizzo book titled Kamala and Maya 's Big Idea last.. 36 at present renowned American lawyer, activist, and it seems specialized and unfamiliar Big! 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