We all watched as Kamala Harris stood where no woman, and no Black or South Asian woman, has ever stood before in U.S. history. It was a milestone moment for millions of Americans who have yearned to see faces that resemble their own at the highest levels of our democracy.
A new film released last night by Girl Up, the gender equality youth initiative of the United Nations Foundation, in partnership with Refinery29 and Ogilvy, captures this history-making moment through the eyes of girls who watched as the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants was sworn in as the 49th vice president of the United States, becoming the highest-ranking female politician in American history.
Today We Rise’ illustrates the immeasurable impact that the images of vice president Harris taking her oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the first Latina to serve on the nation’s highest court – will have on generations to come.
The powerful effort was filmed and produced by a volunteer network of photographers and cinematographers during the inauguration in over 30 households across the country. It was edited immediately after the inauguration ceremony, going live within hours of the event. Watch this emotionally powerful spot below:
The film will be featured in a personal essay by Refinery29’s global editor-in-chief, Simone Oliver, as she reflects on what this moment means to her as a Black woman and Howard Alumna as well as for future generations of young girls, including her daughters.
Melissa Kilby, Girl Up executive director, said: “This moment is about hope and possibilities. It’s about infinite potential – not just that of Madam vice president Kamala Harris, but of every girl, everywhere. Girls seeing her taking the oath will grow up to remember the moment they first believed they could do anything – because of what they saw her do.”
Oliver notes, “I’m not naive to think the swearing in of Madam vice president Kamala Harris was the antidote for a nation in need. It was about representation and showing our girls what’s possible and that possibility offers hope.”
“It is hard to sum up the impact this moment will have around the world in words, so we wanted people to experience it through the faces that will shape the future.” commented Daniel Fisher, global executive creative director at Ogilvy.
“Vice president Kamala Harris may be the first woman to hold high office in the US, but she won’t be the last. The inauguration was a huge moment in history, so it’s an honor for Ogilvy to have collaborated with Girl Up to make this film and we’re so grateful to everyone who donated their time to help us capture this inspiring event.”
Ogilvy and Refinery29 should be really really proud of this film. Just as proud as we are of Kamala Harris.
CLIENT: Girl Up
- EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Melissa Kilby
- DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL MEDIA: Beth Nervig
- ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, GIRL UP AND PRESIDENT, BERLIN CAMERON: Jennifer DaSilva
- GLOBAL ECD: Daniel Fisher
- CREATIVE DIRECTOR / CREATIVE: Alvaro Rivera and Luca Corteggiano
- EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sally Miller
- PROJECT MANAGER: Vanessa Manley
- GLOBAL CLIENT DIRECTOR: Pumie Msengana
- STRATEGIST: Cristina Diago
- DIRECTOR/EDITOR: Giovanni Messner
- CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dannel Escallón
- ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Daniel Addelson
POST HOUSE: UNIT Studios London
- COMPOSER: Jack Bennett
- LABEL: 1107 Studios
- MUSIC SUPERVISOR: Andrew Stafford @ Big Sync Music