WASHINGTON (January 25, 2012) –California Attorney General Kamala Harris will deliver the keynote address at the Howard University 145th Charter Day Convocation on March 9 at 11 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium.
In January 2011, Harris (B.A. ‘86), was sworn in as the first woman as well as first African-American and Indian-American, to be elected as California Attorney General. Harris led her first political campaign as a freshman liberal arts student at Howard.
Harris was born in Oakland, Calif., to a Jamaican father and Indian mother and reared in Berkeley. Her parents, both professors, were involved in the Civil Rights Movement and they imparted in her a strong commitment to social justice and public service.
Howard University awarded Harris the Outstanding Alumni Award for extraordinary work in the fields of law and public service in 2006. Harris earned a law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989. She graduated with a bachelor’s of arts degree from Howard in 1986.
Harris’ accolades include designations as “America’s 20 Most Powerful Women” by Newsweek and “100 Most Influential African Americans” by Ebony Magazine. The New York Times listed her as one of 17 women most likely to become the first female president of the United States.
Harris is the recipient of numerous awards. California’s largest legal newspaper, The Daily Journal, designated Harris as one of the top 75 women litigators in California – the only elected official to receive that honor – as well as one of the top 100 lawyers in the state.
She was recognized as a “Woman of Power” by the National Urban League and received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the National Black Prosecutors Association. She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was selected as one of 24 elected leaders from throughout the country to serve as a Rodel Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Additionally, Harris was elected to the Board of Directors of the California District Attorneys Association and is a vice president of the National District Attorney's Association.
This year’s Charter Day celebration marks the 145th anniversary of the charter enacted by Congress, and subsequently approved by President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1867, which established Howard University.