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Hometown Conversations: Discussing the Impact of Women’s Strides

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MENOMONIE (WQOW) -- In November, the United States of America made history by electing the first-ever woman and person of color to the office of Vice President, but the moment did not happen overnight, and many say this is not the last item on the checklist of women's rights.

For Victoria Sanchez, a Multicultural Student Coordinator at UW-Stout who works with students of color as they transition into college, a position many young adults find themselves in for the first time in their family's history, Kamala Harris' win is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Men still own more businesses than women. Women own more businesses than minorities. It's knowing the facts. There is still a lot of work to be done," Sanchez said.

"Yes, let's keep on voting, let's keep on supporting women, minority-owned businesses, so we can all win. There is lots of work to be done and the idea is, 'do we want to be part of that solution, do we want to be part of the movement?' I leave that up to those that are viewing."

Sanchez said the notion that Harris was put on the democratic ticket to entice or appease voters is false.

"She has really worked her self up to that position, it wasn't something like 'let's throw a woman on the ballot.' There was intention there. She worked up the ranks. Starting off as an attorney, to Attorney General for [California] and continuing on as Senator," she said.

"This is a woman who brings brilliance and smarts, intelligence, who brings strength. She worked up the ranks. If you did your research, you can see where she was contributing. Not everybody can be an attorney. There is a process to get there, there is a lot of intentional work you have to do."

When it comes to how children across our country will feel about this moment in history, she said, it will inspire not only little girls but also boys.

"These little boys may be looking at their mom differently. You know, 'she's a powerful person, she may have dreams as well.' That might put some little boys in pause for a little bit, like, 'wow the Vice President or President doesn't always have to be a male. It could be a female. I'm looking at my little sisters, or I'm looking at my mom'," Sanchez said.

She also feels this win will now highlight what our country truly looks like.

"I think it's just the modern family that is part of our generation now. I mean, families look so different these days. In the case of Kamala Harris, she has stepchildren, and this obviously a second marriage for her. This is that modern era that it's not always that white picket fence," She explained.

"I think it's just going to be showcasing what our America looks like, the fabric of what it is, not what we think it is."

The work toward gender equity and equality, Sanchez said, is still far from over and this historic win is just the beginning.

"We heard that powerful quote, and it gives me chills when Kamala said, 'I may be the first, but I'm not going to be last.' I mean that was like, 'yeah, thank you for saying that.' It's going to be inspiring a lot of individuals. It's inspiring me. It's inspiring my nieces."

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Stephanie Rodriguez

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