Joining Biden’s Democratic ticket, Karine Jean-Pierre will become both the first black and the first out lesbian to serve as a vice presidential Chief of Staff.
As we have seen with the current presidential administration, the character of those in the White House can affect the integrity of the nation. Their power has the potential to inspire both love and hatred, and therefore define who are as a community. That’s why Jean-Pierre’s commitment to human rights is so crucial, and why she might help give rise to a new era for those in marginalized communities.
Born from Haitian parents and raised in Queens, New York, Jean-Pierre gained an MPA from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and began working her way up as a political analyst. She worked to create ethical business practices, served as Senior Adviser for MoveOn, and eventually worked in the White House as one of Obama’s regional directors.
She remembers the power of the office.
“The sun was setting and the lights got much more prominent,” Jean-Pierre said, thinking back on when the White House lit the rainbow flag to celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
“People had signs and people were crying, and there was just so much joy.”
That’s the kind of message that can shape people’s understanding and acceptance towards others, and one she hopes to return to.
“I remember thinking how proud I was of his administration, that I had worked for that. It really brought us together, in that one moment, how important LGBTQ rights were and how much that administration fought for our rights.”
Currently, she is working with others in the White House on a progressive list, and will hopefully come out with specific plans to address the state of minorities soon. Luckily, she’s not alone.
Separately, the Biden campaign has hired Latina Julie Chavez Rodriguez as a senior adviser, who also shares progressive ideals.
As President Trump increases its anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and even funds homophobic organizations, discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ continues to rise at alarming rates. The White House’s actions and the results are no coincidence. That’s why these two picks are crucial. Their addition to the White House means the incorporation of all of the ideals they have and continue to fight for, including equality, diversity, and pride-a beautiful aspect of the LGBTQ+ community that has been deeply affected since 2016.