LEE Members & Staff React: Inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden & Vice President Kamala D. Harris | Leadership for Educational Equity Skip to main content

LEE Members & Staff React: Inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden & Vice President Kamala D. Harris


On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, the United States witnessed an Inauguration Day like never before. Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President, and Kamala D. Harris became the first Black woman and first Indian-American Vice President of the United States.

Leadership for Educational Equity members and staff – from classroom teachers to community organizers, policy & advocacy professionals, and elected officials – shared their reactions on social media.



In one word, how do you feel?


— Llama Habern, Manager of Data & Program Evaluation


— Sarah McLean, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Infrastructure


— Brie Ortega, Manager of Program Supports & Innovations



A post shared by Karli (@karliayana)


Which quote(s) are you keeping close to your heart?


"Quiet isn't always peace." Amanda Gorman, "The Hill We Climb"

Another quote that I thought about in reaction to our new President's speech: "We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist."  — James Baldwin

Also, Amanda Gorman's mom is a teacher in Watts here in LA, at a school led by LEE members!

 — Godfrey Plata, Director of Regional Leadership Development


"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning."  — President Biden

And for me, Amanda Gorman's whole poem took the day.

Darryl Brackeen Jr., Director of Regional Impact - Connecticut


"...Being American is more than a pride we inherit, it's the past we step into and how we repair it."  — Amanda Gorman's "The Hill We Climb"

Aisha Bien-Aime, Director of Candidate Development


I'm feeling this quote from Amanda Gorman’s poem: "There is always light if only we're brave enough to see it, if only we're brave enough to be it." Chills!

Emily Hudson, Digital Content Writer & Editor


Biden's quote that's sticking with me: "We'll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security."
That's what I think sets LEE and LEE members apart. We are a partner and recognize leading my example speaks volumes.

Sarah McLean, Senior Vice President of Partnerships & Infrastructure


"My whole soul is in this."  — President Biden
My whole soul is in this, too.

Ariadna Ginez, Director of Supporter Relations




I'll always remember seeing the first Latina Supreme Court Justice swear in the first Black and South Asian Madame Vice President.

A friend of mine who teaches 1st graders shared that her kids didn't understand the magnitude of that moment; they couldn't quite understand how we had never, ever had a woman vice president.

I like living in a world where that which is seemingly impossible, becomes possible.

Sandra Godina, Director of Program & Organizing - Dallas


“I taught 5th grade in Newark. I put an excerpt from Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy on the wall. (Heaney is, it turns out, one of Biden's favorite poets.) I'd later read this with young people in Kosovo, in camps in Lebanon and Jordan, at Tsinghua University in Beijing. I read it to my children today. I'm struck at how universal an experience it is to sit at the fulcrum between what is and should be, past and future, hurt and hope, to try to muster what it takes to move from that moment to the next. I felt that tension very completely today.”

— Josh Harvey, Chief of Staff of Technology


from The Cure at Troy

By Seamus Heaney


Human beings suffer,

They torture one another,

They get hurt and get hard.

No poem or play or song

Can fully right a wrong

Inflicted and endured.


The innocent in gaols

Beat on their bars together.

A hunger-striker's father

Stands in the graveyard dumb.

The police widow in veils

Faints at the funeral home.


History says, Don't hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.


So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that a further shore

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracles

And cures and healing wells.


Call miracle self-healing:

The utter, self-revealing

Double-take of feeling.

If there's fire on the mountain

Or lightning and storm

And a god speaks from the sky


That means someone is hearing

The outcry and the birth-cry

Of new life at its term.