Academics and voters discuss the impact of Kamala Harris as VP pick

Senator Kamala Harris is making history as the first woman of color on a major party ticket for Vice President.

"It's amazing to think that in 2020, there's still the first that we continue to have so to recognize that there's another first for a Black woman is a cause for celebration," said LaVonna Lewis, the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

RELATED: Joe Biden taps Kamala Harris as running mate

Lewis mentioned how there was a big push for a Black woman to be named the candidate for VP.

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"There's an ongoing conversation for a need for a Black woman given the level of engagement of Black women in the Democratic party and so I think delivering on that promise is going to be a winner for the Democratic party. One of the things I always talk to my students about is how difficult it is to imagine being something that you've never seen so as a Black woman seeing another Black woman on the ticket is inspirational because it becomes possible," said Lewis.

Shekar Narasimhan with the AAPI Victory Fund said Harris is also inspirational for the Indian community.

"For me as an Indian American, I look at her and see pride, and cognition that somebody who even looks somewhat like me is going to be on that stage. I can identify with her but I see so many more opportunities because of her. I have been waiting to see a woman of color. I would have been happy with any of the women of color, to be honest with you but to see somebody who can identify in so many different communities and in an America that truly has to look a lot more in its government like the people it represents, she just represents a transformational change for me," said Narasimhan.

Los Angeles County voter, Marti Smith, also weighed in on the VP candidate.

"I was so stoked when I saw the news today. Just really hugely excited about the history-making that will be happening. I believe it. She's a woman and she's Black so I mean, dude, that's the best thing we can have in the White House right now, a Black woman. It'd be great if she was President this time around, but she has my vote next time around for sure," said Smith.

Mo'Kelly, a political commentator also shared his thoughts on Harris.

"The Democratic party needed something to energize the base where many people were saying I don't necessarily like Donald Trump and I'll vote for Joe Biden but he's not necessarily someone who would excite me. The Democratic party needed to pay off the base if you will and that base right now, that motor, that engine of the party is specifically Black women and those are the people who have been mobilizing and moving the party forward into the 21st century and if the Democratic party wanted to make sure people were going to turn out, they needed to inject new blood and Senator Harris, if anything, signifies new blood," said Mo'Kelly.  

Mo'Kelly also discussed her background.

"No one can tell that story, that immigrant story better in today's age than Senator Harris. You talk about a father being Jamaican, the mother being Indian, someone who is just on this side of segregation and be able to become the first Black female Attorney General here in California. She has so many things that she can talk about that are specific to her experience," said Mo'Kelly.

Harris is also believed to be able to mobilize HBCU's and Alpha Kappa Alpha, AKA, voters.

"Senator Harris' addition to the VP ticket is going to mobilize African Americans. It's going to mobilize Black women specifically. It's going to mobilize her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha which is something people don't necessarily talk about or know but they're going to know. It's going to mobilize historically Black colleges and universities as an alum of Howard University in Washington DC. There are all these networks which are ready and willing and able and now enthusiastically supporting Senator Harris as being part of this ticket because it goes back to that historical moment in America which honestly will make people much more enthusiastic," said Mo'Kelly.

However, Harris' candidacy won't be challenge free. She faces strong criticism from progressives regarding her prosecutorial record.

"It will be used against her. We're in a different time. We're in a different age of Black Lives Matter. We're in the age of defunding the police and there's going to be that push-pull not only within the Democratic party but America more generally," said Mo'Kelly.