Meena Harris, niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, revealed last year that her husband had quit his high-tech job in San Francisco to be a stay-at-home dad to their two daughters and freed her up to write books. feminist children’s books and running her business.
Harris, now 37, said The temperature in January 2021, Nikolas Ajagu – whom she met while working in the tech industry – decided he wanted to be Amara and Leela’s full-time father.
Ajagu quit her job as global head of partnerships at Facebook to raise their children, she told the newspaper.
On opening day, he received praise from sneakerheads for his stylish $2,000 Dior Air Jordan 1s.
“We don’t assign the traditional gender role in our house,” she said.
Meena Harris, now 37, said her husband Nikolas Ajagu, whom she met while working in the tech industry, decided he wanted to be a full-time dad to her. ‘Amara, four, and Leela, two.
Meena Harris and partner Nikolas Ajagu are parents to Amara, four, and Leela, two
Meena Harris is pictured with her aunt Kamala – the first black and South Asian female vice president
Ajagu, pictured at the grand opening on January 20, 2021, impressed with his rare $2,000 sneakers
“Thinking about how I raise my children and how I can pass on the lessons and the value systems I was raised with, I wonder how I’m going to do that.
“We let some men in along the way – my kids don’t grow up in an all-female family.”
Meena was raised by single women and told the newspaper that she “only realized, in my lifetime, how unique my upbringing was”.
She added: “A feminist home is all I have ever known.
“Even the idea of men in power wasn’t something I really learned until I got into the working world. Our little family unit was all women, women ferocious: my grandmother, my mother, my aunt and me.
Meena, Kamala and Maya: the family was raised by Shyamala Gopalan, who died in 2009
Her grandmother was Shyamala Gopalan, who died in 2009.
She was a scientist and civil rights activist who graduated from Delhi University at 19 and, to avoid an arranged marriage, went to Berkeley to study endocrinology and nutrition, became a breast cancer researcher and served on the President’s Special Commission on Breast Cancer. Cancer.
She divorced her Jamaican husband, Donald Harris, when her daughters Kamala and Maya were seven and five, and raised them as a single parent in Oakland, California.
Meena’s mother, Maya, 55, was a single mother at 17.
She became senior policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 and now works for Kamala, 57 – the first black person, first South Asian and first woman to become vice president.
Maya married in 1998 Tony West, former Associate United States Attorney General and now chief legal officer of Uber.
Meena met her partner while working in the tech industry, after studying law
Ajagu left his role as global head of partnerships at Facebook to raise their children
“It was my world,” Harris says. “And as we added more people to the family, I was still very protective and clear who raised me: this is my family.”
She said her childhood home was a place of “love, laughter, food and politics, and cared about what was happening in the world”.
She said her grandmother “didn’t have much patience for mediocrity”.
Ambitious Girl is Meena’s second book.
“There was definitely some tough love.
‘She always taught me, ‘You’re going to have to work twice as hard. Nothing will be returned to you. And there was no pampering – we didn’t have a table for the kids on special occasions. You sat down at the adult table.
“My mother and aunt were brought up the same way, expecting a child of any age to understand and participate in adult conversations. Or, at the very least, learn and listen.
Meena herself, like her mother, is a lawyer.
She has degrees from Stanford and Harvard Law, and previously worked in the political departments of Slack and Uber.
In addition to writing children’s books, she is now the founder and CEO of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, an organization inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman.
Her first book, Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea, published in June last year, was based on her mother and aunt’s childhood and contained lessons in activism and community building.
She says her new book, Ambitious Girl, is designed to inspire young children.
Kamala is pictured holding Amara’s hand on inauguration day as Meena (right) walks by
Amara and Leela wore faux fur coats and Doc Marten boots for the Washington DC ceremony
“Growing up I was taught that ambition is something to be celebrated, that it means purpose and determination, having a big idea and chasing after it, chasing your dreams and having confidence in yourself,” he said. she told the newspaper.
“When I grew up, I realized that’s not what society teaches us. Instead, it’s something used to criticize women: Ambitious women are ‘power-hungry’ or “sharp” – things we don’t say about men.
“It’s something that I think women learn to hide from.
“I know a lot of women who have political ambitions and want to run for office, but they think they’re not supposed to tell people, that you should play down your big dreams. As women, we’re taught to hide ambition, to diminish it or keep it secret – that is something to be ashamed of.
Her aunt’s election as vice president is, Meena said, a boost for all the women who have been told they are “too many.”
“We broke that glass ceiling,” she said.
“The ambition has succeeded. We won.’