We don’t need to remind anyone that Kamala Harris made history when she became the United States’ first female Vice President-elect. And now, Harris has made history yet again — as the first Vice President to grace the cover and titular name as TIME’s Person of the Year. This year, the news magaine named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Harris as the 2020 Person of the Year. The annual honor is meant to recognize the influence the individual (or individuals) has had in the news over the past year. Harris took to Instagram to share a special message to her followers.
Sharing a picture of TIME’s Person of the Year cover on her Instagram, she wrote, “Honored to be named @TIME’s Person of the Year with President-elect @JoeBiden.” She then pivoted to an important message she had for her followers: “We’re at a moment where we’re being confronted by multiple crises that have converged—a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a long overdue reckoning on racial injustice, and a climate crisis. We have a lot we need to handle in the days ahead but I know together we can get it done.”
Biden and Harris were chosen from a shortlist that also included Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
TIME’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal penned an essay explaining this year’s choice. “If Donald Trump was a force for disruption and division over the past four years, Biden and Harris show where the nation is heading: a blend of ethnicities, lived experiences and worldviews that must find a way forward together if the American experiment is to survive,” he wrote.
Though past presidents have nabbed the honor, Harris’ selection this year is further proof that she’s shattered the glass ceiling as a woman in politics. “This is the first time we have included a Vice President,” Felsenthal said. “In a year that saw an epic struggle for racial justice, and one of the most consequential elections in history, the Biden-Harris partnership sends a powerful message.”
This year TIME also gave its first Kid of the Year award — to 15-year-old Gitanjali Rao, a young woman who we’re also guessing will be shattering some ceilings. We’re inspired by — and in awe of — the incredible work these well-deserving honorees are doing, and its nice to see TIME clearly is, too.
Before you go, click to see celebrity women of color share the first time they felt represented on screen.