This heartwarming sheroes story will be remembered for decades! Right On! Digital connected with publicist Edna Sims, CEO of ESP Public Relations, who back in 2018, had the opportunity to work with then-California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who is now the Vice President-elect of the United States of America.
Here’s the remarkable story in Edna Sims’ words:
“In 2018, I enjoyed working with Sen. Kamala Harris as her publicist and her staff on an event, the Kingdom Day Parade, the largest and longest-running Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Birthday celebration in the nation. The parade was founded by CEO Adrian Dove and always has celebrity presence, but this particular parade was especially memorable with the presence of Sen. Harris.
Little did I know that two years later, Sen. Harris would make history as the first woman and first African American/Asian woman to be elected as Vice President of the United States alongside Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President.
Now, I have worked with numerous MLK Parade Grand Marshals, who usually show up for the Red Carpet Breakfast Reception, take photos, do interviews, ride in the 2.5-miles parade route, then leave. However, this experience was quite different as Sen. Harris used a hands-on approach with the historical parade, reaching out to community groups and church leaders, solidifying their involvement. Not only that, she invited her sorority sisters Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, as well as The Links, Inc., United Farm Workers, Korean Resource Center, UCLA Undergraduate Student Association Council, L.A. African American Women’s Public Policy Institute, Jack & Jill, Inc., as well as numerous church pastors and Rabbis, to come out and support the occasion.
Sen. Harris made sure the Time’s Up Now members were invited to march in the parade too. It was heartwarming to witness Oscar-winner Natalie Portman and television’s Smollett siblings Jurnee Smollett-Bell and her brother Jussie Smollett marching down Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in the middle of the hood.
Throughout the day, I was impressed by Sen Harris, who would get out of the car and walk into the crowd to meet and spend time greeting the thousands of everyday people who were in attendance.
And although at least 100 media outlets were on hand to cover the parade, Sen. Harris graciously allowed all media, from top tier outlets to local community press, to get photo opps or interviews. Putting others before herself, she showed up at 7 am and stayed until 2 pm, taking her Grand Marshal duties very seriously.
Generally, I’m camera shy, believing that publicists should remain in the background and ensure that clients receive maximum exposure. But something told me that I should document my time with Sen. Harris. Thus, the photo that accompanies this article was the last photo she could pose for that day.
I will never forget this experience, and I cherish the time I spent with such an amazing woman. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will surely make a difference, nationally and internationally and, will undoubtedly represent the American people’s diversity.”
Dr. Edna Sims is the founder of ESP Public Relations, a full-service public relations firm which provides story placement with worldwide media outlets and supplies expertise in the areas of crisis management, marketing and strategic communications.