Kamala Harris: The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Young Readers Edition)

These were my favorite passages from reading her book.

Overall, it was an incredibly inspiring and uplifting book. The future of our country looks bright in the hands of leaders like Kamala. This book helped me trust the government to know that most politicians actually want to impact and have positive interactions when going into office.

“These were my mother’s people. In a country where she had no family, they were her family—and she was theirs. From almost the moment she arrived from India, she chose and was welcomed to and enveloped in the black community. It was the foundation of her new American life.” 

“Mrs. Shelton taught me so much. She was always reaching out to mothers who needed counseling or support or even just a hug, because that’s what you do. She took in children who couldn’t live with their parents and adopted a girl named Sandy who would become my best friend. She always saw the goodness in people. I loved that about her, too. She invested in neighborhood kids who had fallen on hard times, and she did it with the expectation that these struggling boys and girls could be great. And yet she never talked about it or dwelled on it. To her, these deeds were not extraordinary; they were simply an extension of her values.” 

“She even made leftovers enticing, giving them the name “smorgasbord” and setting them out with fancy toothpicks and bread cut into silly shapes. My mother had a way of making even the ordinary seem exciting.  There was a lot of laughter, too, though my mother could be tough. My sister and I rarely earned praise for behavior or achievements that were expected. “Why would I applaud you for something you were supposed to do?” she would say if I tried to fish for compliments. And if I came home to report the latest drama in search of sympathy, my mother would have none of it. Her first reaction would be: “Well, what did you do?” I guess she was trying to teach me that I had power and could make a difference. Fair enough, but it still drove me crazy.” 

“My mother was raising us to believe that “It’s too hard!” was never an acceptable excuse; that being a good person meant standing for something larger than yourself; that success is measured in part by what you help others achieve and accomplish. She would tell us, “Fight systems in a way that causes them to be fairer, and  don’t be limited by what has always been.”

“We weren’t just told we could be great; we were challenged to live up to that potential. There was an expectation that we would develop and use our talents to take on roles of leadership and have an impact on other people, on our country, and maybe even on the world. I dove in with gusto. Freshman year, I ran for my first elected office:  freshman class representative of the Liberal Arts Student Council. It was my very first campaign.” 

“An important part of what that wisdom told me was that when it came to criminal justice, we were being asked to accept false choices. For too long, we’d been told there were only two options: to be either tough on crime or soft on crime. But that was oversimplified and it ignored the realities of public safety. You can want the police to stop crime in your neighborhood and also want them not to use more force than necessary. You can want them to hunt down a killer on your streets and also want them to stop using racial profiling, assuming people are more likely to commit a crime because of their race, because of how they look on the outside. You can believe that criminals should go to prison but also stand up against jailing people unjustly.” 

“Still, this process didn’t come naturally to me. I was always more than happy to talk about the work to be done.  But voters wanted to hear about more than just policy. They wanted to know about me personally—who I was,  what my life had been like, the experiences that had shaped me. They wanted to understand who I was down deep.” 

“We held a party at campaign headquarters, and I walked out to speak as “We Are the Champions” blasted  through the room. Looking out at the crowd—friends, family, mentors, volunteers from the campaign—I saw one community. There were people from the poorest neighborhoods and the richest. Police officers alongside advocates fighting for police reform. Young people cheering with senior citizens. It was a reflection of what I’ve always believed to be true: when it comes to the things that matter most, we have so much more in common than what separates us.” 

“Now it was quiet. And for the first time since the day began, I was alone with my thoughts, taking it all in. I had run because I knew I could do the job—and I believed I could do it better than it had been done.” 

“Still, I knew I represented something much bigger than my own experience. At the time, there weren’t many district attorneys who looked like me or had my background. There still aren’t. A report in 2015 found that more than nine out of ten of our country’s elected prosecutors were white, and about eight in ten were white men.”

“In America, we release inmates into desperate, hopeless situations. We give them a little bit of money and a bus ticket and we send them on their way with a felony conviction on their record. Employers don’t want to hire them, so they have no way of making money. From the moment they leave prison, they are in danger of returning. They end up in the same neighborhood, with the same people, on the same corner; the only difference is that they’ve now served time. Prison has its own gravitational pull, often inescapable; of the hundreds of  thousands of prisoners we release as a country every year, nearly 70 percent commit a crime within three years.” 

“Back on Track quickly proved its worth. After two years, only 10 percent of Back on Track graduates had reoffended—compared with half of others convicted of similar crimes who hadn’t been through Back on Track.  And it was less expensive, too. Prosecuting a felony case costs twice as much, and putting up someone in jail for  a year costs another eight times as much.” 

“People are watching you,” I’d tell them. “They are watching you. And when they see your success, they’ll think, ‘Maybe we can do that, too. Maybe we should try it back home.’ You should feel inspired by that, by  knowing that your success here will someday create an opportunity for someone you’ve never met before in  some other part of the country.” 

“I had divided my to-do list into three categories: short-, medium-, and long-term. Short-term meant “a couple of  weeks,” medium-term meant “a couple of years,” and long-term meant “as long as it takes.” It was that far side of the ledger where I wrote down the hardest problems we were facing—the ones you can’t expect to solve on your own, over a term in office, perhaps even over a career. That’s where the most important work is. That’s where you take the bigger view—not of the political moment but of the historical one. The core problems of the criminal justice system are not new. You don’t add the toughest problems to the list because they are new, but because they are big, because people have been fighting against them for dozens—maybe even hundreds—of years, and that duty is now yours. What matters is how well you run the portion of the race that is yours.” 

“What it should not look like is the system we have in America today. The median bail in the United States is  $10,000, which is four times the savings many Americans have in their bank accounts. Roughly nine out of ten people who are detained can’t afford to pay to get out. By its very design, the cash bail system favors the wealthy and punishes the poor. If you can pay cash up front, you can leave, and when your trial is over, you’ll get all of your money back. If you can’t afford it, you are forced to suffer in jail. The only other option is to get a  bail bondsman to pay your bail, but they charge steep fees you will never get back.”

“The New York Times Magazine told the story of a struggling single mother who spent two weeks on Rikers  Island, New York City’s enormous jail, arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, because she’d left her baby with a friend at a shelter while she bought diapers at Target. This young woman could not afford her $1,500 bail, and by the time she was released, her child was in foster care. In another case, sixteen year-old Kalief Browder was arrested in New York on charges that he had stolen a backpack. When his family couldn’t scrape together the $3,000 bail, Kalief went to jail while he awaited his trial. He would end up spending the next three years waiting, endlessly waiting, much of it in solitary confinement—trapped in an isolated jail cell with almost no human contact—not having ever been tried or convicted of anything. It was a tragic story from beginning to end: in 2015, soon after he was finally released from jail, Kalief committed suicide. The criminal justice system punishes people for their poverty. Where is the justice in that? And where is the sense?  How does that improve public safety? Between 2000 and 2014, 95 percent of the growth in the jail population came from people awaiting trial. This is a group of largely nonviolent defendants who haven’t been proven guilty, and we’re spending $38 million a day to imprison them while they await their day in court. Whether or not someone can get bailed out of jail shouldn’t be based on how much money he has in the bank. Or the color of his skin: black men pay 35 percent higher bail than white men charged with the same crime. Latino men pay nearly 20 percent more than white men. This isn’t the stuff of coincidences. It runs deep in the system. And we have to change it.” 

“In the near term, one of the most urgent challenges is the fight against the current administration, which is ripping apart the critical progress we’ve made in recent years to reform the criminal justice system. We can’t go backward on these issues when we have only begun to scratch the surface of progress. We have to act with fierce urgency. Justice demands it.” 

“It was a hard topic to tackle. The senior leaders I was working with had dedicated their lives and taken an oath to law enforcement. It wasn’t easy to have to accept the idea that the men and women of their bureau carry bias with them, that it affects the community, and that they need to be trained to deal with it. But it was an honest conversation, and in the end, the leadership not only agreed it was important, but they also agreed to help create,  shape, and lead the training. My team got to work, and it became the first statewide implicit bias and procedural justice course offered anywhere in the country.” 

“We cannot forget Eric Garner’s desperate words—“I can’t breathe”—as a police officer strangled him to death during an arrest for selling cigarettes.” 

“And we must remember that tragedies like these occur over and over again, most of them unfilmed and unseen.  If people fear murder and beatings and harassment from the police who patrol their streets, can we really say that  we live in a free society?”

“But when black and brown people are more likely to be stopped, arrested, and convicted than white people;  when police departments are outfitted like military battalions; when deadly force is overused, is it any wonder that people have stopped trusting these public institutions? I say this as someone who has spent most of my career working with law enforcement. I say this as someone who has a great deal of respect for police officers. I  know that most police officers deserve to be proud of their public service and commended for the way they do their jobs. I know how difficult and dangerous the job is, day in and day out, and I know how hard it is for the officers’ families, who have to wonder if the person they love will be coming home at the end of each shift. I’ve been to too many funerals of officers killed in the line of duty. But I also know this: it is a false choice to suggest that you must either be for the police or for responsible policing. I am for both. Most people I know are for both.  Let’s speak some truth about that, too.” 

“But the real reasons lie deeper in our complex financial system, of which mortgage lenders are just one piece.  Lots of powerful people bent the rules and built elaborate schemes to make money off these bad loans. Even though most Americans didn’t realize it, our entire economy had grown dependent on these scams. But it was like building a tower of blocks on top of a balloon, and when the balloon popped, the entire economy came crashing down, and we ended up with the Great Recession.” 

“Because the count had taken so long, there was only a month to process the victory before my swearing-in. And beyond the election, I was also still processing the grief of my mother’s death. She’d passed away almost two years before, in February 2009, as the long, hard-fought campaign was just getting under way. It was crushing to lose her. I knew what my election would have meant to her. How I wished she could be there to see it and celebrate with me. When January 3, 2011, arrived, I walked down the stairs of the California Museum for  Women, History, and the Arts, in Sacramento, to greet the standing-room-only crowd. Flags were waving,  dignitaries were there, observers peered down from the balcony. Maya held Mrs. Shelton’s Bible as I took the oath of office. But what I remember most vividly about the day was the worry I felt about saying my mother’s name in my speech without crying. I’d practiced over and over again, and choked up every time. But it was important to me that her name be spoken in that room, because none of what I had achieved would have been possible without her.” 

“Today, with this oath,” I told the crowd, “we affirm the principle that every Californian matters.” 

“I ripped right in. “You want to talk about pain? Do you have any understanding of the pain that you’ve caused?”  I felt it in my bones. It made me so angry to see these guys dismiss the suffering of homeowners. “There are a  million children in California who aren’t going to be able to go to their school anymore because their parents lost their home. If you want to talk about pain, I’ll tell you about some pain.” The bank representatives were calm but defensive. They said the homeowners were to blame for getting into mortgages they couldn’t afford. I  wasn’t having any of that. I kept thinking about what the home-buying process looks like in real life.” 

“For most families, buying a home is the biggest purchase they will ever make. It’s a really special moment in your life, proof of all your hard work. You trust the people involved in the process. When the banker tells you that you qualify for a loan, you trust that she’s reviewed the numbers and won’t let you take on more than you can handle. When it comes time to finish the paperwork, it’s basically a signing ceremony that feels like a  celebration. When the bankers put a stack of paper in front of you, you trust them, and you sign. And sign. And sign. And sign.” 

“Whenever I travel to a country for the first time, I try to visit the highest court in the land. They are monuments of a certain kind, built not just to house a courtroom but to send a message. In New Delhi, for example, the  Supreme Court of India is designed to symbolize the balancing scales of justice. In Jerusalem, Israel’s iconic  Supreme Court building combines straight lines—which represent the rigid nature of the law—with curved walls and glass that represent the fluid nature of justice. These are buildings that speak. The same can be said of the  United States Supreme Court Building, which, to my mind, is the most beautiful of them all. Its architecture recalls ancient Greece and the earliest days of democracy, as though you are standing in front of a modern-day Parthenon.” 

“During Valentine’s Day week in 2004, then–San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom decided to ignore Prop 22 and allow marriages for same-sex couples anyway. When I was passing by San Francisco City Hall, I saw throngs of people lined up around the block, waiting to get in. They were counting down the minutes before the California government would finally recognize their right to marry whomever they loved. You could feel the joy and anticipation in the air. Some of these couples had been waiting decades. It was such an extraordinary sight that I  got out of my car and walked up the steps of City Hall, where I bumped into a city official. “Kamala, come and help us,” she said, a glowing smile on her face. “We need more people to perform the marriages.” I was delighted to be a part of it.” 

“The court held that the same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, which paved the way for lesbian, gay,  bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) couples to realize the equal dignity they had always deserved,  regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. And over the next six months, eighteen thousand same sex couples exchanged wedding vows in California.”

“As I left the Supreme Court, there were hundreds of people gathered, waving rainbow flags, holding signs,  waiting anxiously for justice. It made me smile. They were why I had become a lawyer in the first place. It was  in the courtroom, I believed, that you could translate that passion into action and law.” 

“I looked out at their faces and imagined all the people who had stood in the same place for similar reasons: black parents with their children, fighting against segregation in schools; young women marching and shouting for the right to control their own bodies and end a pregnancy through legal abortion; civil rights activists demonstrating for full voting rights. 

“It would take another two years before the Supreme Court recognized marriage equality in all fifty states. And today, it is still the case under federal law that an employer can fire an employee if they identify as LGBTQ. It is still the case, in statehouses across the country, that transgender rights—the rights of people who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth—are getting trampled. This is still very much an active civil rights battle.” 

“As we dug into the issue, we found that most parents have a natural desire to be good parents and help their kids stay in school. They want to be good fathers and mothers. They just may not have the skills or the money they need. Imagine a single parent, working two low-wage shift jobs, six days a week, and still trapped below the poverty line. She gets paid by the hour and her job doesn’t include benefits like getting paid during a vacation or for time she has to take off when she’s sick. If her three-year-old daughter runs a fever, she can’t bring her to the day care she took a second job to pay for, because other kids will get sick. There’s no money for a babysitter, but if she stays home from work that day, she’s not going to get paid, so she won’t be able to afford diapers for the rest of the month. It’s already been hard enough saving money to buy new shoes for her eleven-year-old son,  whose feet seem to grow a whole size every few months.” 

“November 2016 was almost two years away, but I had a decision to make. Should I run to replace Senator  Boxer? Becoming a U.S. senator would be a natural extension of the work I was already doing—fighting for families facing soaring housing costs and diminishing opportunity; for people imprisoned in a broken criminal justice system; for students burdened by skyrocketing college tuition; for victims of dishonest companies that tricked them; for immigrant communities, for women, for older people. I knew it was important to bring these priorities to the national level, and I decided I could do it. I announced my candidacy on January 13, 2015.  Eventually, so did thirty-three others. Doug, for whom it was his first major campaign, had to get used to a new kind of spotlight.”

“I tackled the race as I had every other, meeting as many people as I could, listening carefully to their concerns,  mapping a plan of action to address them. As the campaign rolled on, my team and I crisscrossed the state in what we called the Kamoji bus, because of the giant emoji caricature of me painted on the back door.” 

“My mother was the strongest person I have ever known, but I always felt protective of her, too. In part, I  suppose, that instinct to protect comes from being the older child. But I also knew my mother was a target. I saw it, and it made me mad. I have too many memories of my brilliant mother being treated as though she were dumb because of her accent. Memories of her being followed around a department store with suspicion, because  surely a brown-skinned woman like her couldn’t afford the dress or blouse that she had chosen.” 

“For as long as ours has been a nation of immigrants, we have been a nation that fears immigrants. In the  mid-1850s, the first significant third-party movement in the United States, the so-called Know-Nothing Party,  rose to popularity on an anti-immigrant platform. In 1882, an act of Congress banned Chinese immigrants to the country. In 1917, Congress established a host of new restrictions on immigrants, including a requirement that immigrants would have to know how to read. In 1924, the number of newcomers allowed into the country from  Southern and Eastern Europe was cut dramatically. In 1939, nearly 1,000 German Jews fleeing the Nazis in a  ship called the St. Louis were turned away from the United States.” 

“A plan to allow 20,000 Jewish refugee children into the country was outright rejected. And shortly after, the U.S.  government interned some 117,000 people of Japanese ancestry—the government tore these Americans from  their homes and communities and forced them to live in internment camps during the war, as if they were enemies or spies or prisoners of war, simply because their families had roots in Japan.” 

“More recently, we have been grappling with globalization. Companies that once had mostly Americans working in businesses located in the U.S. started moving overseas, taking jobs with them. This has made people feel afraid and insecure about their ability to hold on to their job and their way of life. When the Great Recession hit around 2007, it caused massive job losses in America. A number of Republican politicians pointed to immigration as the problem, even as they opposed a law that would have created new jobs. Immigrants have helped shape this country, but they’ve also become convenient targets for blame, scapegoated for problems they didn’t create.” 

“In fact, in 2016, researchers found that more than half of Silicon Valley’s billion-dollar start-ups were founded by one or more immigrants.”

“These young people,” I said to General Kelly, “are now worried that the information they provided in good faith to our government may now be used to track them down and lead to their removal. “Do you agree that we  would not use this information against them?” I asked. Kelly wouldn’t directly answer the question or any of the other questions I pressed him on. In the end, I voted against John Kelly’s confirmation and pressed my colleagues to do the same.” 

“Children of immigrants also faced a new kind of torment: bullying. Kids are being taunted by other kids, told they will be deported, told their parents will be deported, told they should go back where they came from. The cruel words and actions of one prominent, powerful bully in the White House have been mimicked and adopted as the rallying cry of bullies everywhere. But how do you handle a bully? You stand up to him.” 

“gratitude for all those upon whose shoulders we stand. For me, it starts with my mother, Shyamala Harris.” I told her immigration story, the story of her determination, the story that made Maya and me, and made us  Americans. “And I know she’s looking down on us today. And, knowing my mother, she’s probably saying,  ‘Kamala, what on earth is going on down there? We have got to stand up for our values!’” 

“I talked about actions by this president that hit our immigrant and religious communities like a cold front,  “striking a chilling fear in the hearts of millions of good, hardworking people.” The administration was targeting all immigrants. It had even banned people from entering this country who were coming from seven mostly  Muslim countries. It was not only chaotic and ill-planned, it was discriminatory and cruel.” 

“These policies were more than immoral and heartless, they were dangerous, too. I spoke as a lifelong prosecutor and former attorney general of the largest state in this country when I said that the administration’s Muslim ban and immigration actions posed a real and present threat to our public safety. Instead of making us more safe, the increased raids on immigrants and the president’s executive orders instill fear. “For this reason,” I said, “studies have shown Latinos are more than 40 percent less likely to call 911 when they have been a victim of a crime.  This climate of fear drives people underground and into the shadows, making them less likely to report crimes against themselves or others. Fewer victims reporting crime and fewer witnesses coming forward.” 

“Yuriana’s commitment to giving back to our country is typical among DACA recipients. The vast majority of  DACA recipients are employed—more than 75 percent of them. They wear our nation’s uniform in the military,  they study at our colleges and universities, and they work in U.S. companies large and small. In fact, if DACA recipients were deported, it is estimated that the U.S. economy as a whole could lose as much as $460 billion over a decade. These young people are contributing to our country in meaningful ways.” 

“Without DACA, eligible young people who were brought to the United States as children are faced with a  terrible choice: they can live here without papers and in fear of deportation or leave the only country they’ve ever known. They have no path to citizenship.”


“Because millions of people are paying into the insurance pool, if you get really sick, insurance money starts to pay more for more expensive care. Unlike many other wealthy nations, the United States government does not  provide universal health care—health insurance for all of our citizens—except in a couple of instances: all senior citizens are covered by Medicare, and those who are severely disabled or have very low incomes qualify for the  Medicaid program, which pays for their health care.” 

“A 2016 study found a ten-year gap in life expectancy in America between the wealthiest women and the poorest.  The richest women live until about eighty-nine, and the poorest women live until about seventy-nine. That means that being poor reduces your life expectancy more than a lifetime of smoking deadly cigarettes.” 

“In segregated cities like Baltimore, there are twenty-year gaps in the life expectancy of those living in poor black  American neighborhoods and those living in wealthier and whiter areas. “A baby born in Cheswolde, in  Baltimore’s far northwest corner, can expect to live until age eighty-seven,” writes Olga Khazan in The Atlantic.  “Nine miles away in Clifton-Berea . . . the life expectancy is sixty-seven, roughly the same as that of Rwanda [in  Africa], and twelve years shorter than the American average.” These disparities begin in the delivery room.  Black babies are twice as likely as white babies to die in infancy, a stunning gap that is wider than in 1850, when slavery was still legal. In fact, today, black infants are less likely to survive their first year than white babies were in the early 1980s.” 

“What accounts for these inequities in the care of our fellow citizens? A growing body of research suggests that part of the problem is unconscious, implicit bias. All of us absorb social stereotypes and assumptions, often without ever realizing it. But left unexamined, they risk leading us to behave in discriminatory ways, which can have serious consequences.” 

“She knew her fighting spirit was alive and well inside me.”

“But then it came time for hospice care, a final round of care at the end of a patient’s life that keeps them as pain free and comfortable as possible. We took her home and, finally, she let a hospice nurse come with us. Maya and  I still didn’t believe that she could die, to the point that when she said she wanted to go to India, we booked plane tickets and started planning. We worked out how we could get her on a plane, and made arrangements for a nurse to come with us. We were all in a great state of delusion—especially me. I couldn’t bear to tell my mother no—not because she couldn’t take it, but because I couldn’t. Whether it was a question of bringing a  nurse home or staying in the nursing home or going to India, I didn’t want to accept what saying no to her meant. I didn’t want to accept that she was running out of time.” 

“All of a sudden, I had to face reality. I was going to lose my mother and there was nothing I could do. We had called our uncle in India to let him know that she was too sick to make it. He got on a plane from Delhi to see her. I now realize that she waited for his arrival, waited to say goodbye. She passed away the very next morning.  One of the last questions she asked the hospice nurse, the last concern on her mind, was “Are my daughters  going to be okay?” She was focused on being our mother until the very end.” 

“So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs,” he said. “But let me say to you tonight, that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth. “We are tired,” Dr. King said to the audience in Memphis. “We are tired of our children having to attend overcrowded, inferior, quality less schools. We are tired of having to live in dilapidated substandard housing conditions. . . . We are tired of  walking the streets in search of jobs that do not exist . . . of working our hands off and laboring every day and  not even making a wage adequate to get the basic necessities of life.” 

“How can you dream when, on average, a year of child care for a baby or toddler is more expensive than a year of in-state public college tuition? How can you dream when the cost of higher education—colleges and universities —has gone up more than three times faster than wages since I was in school in the eighties? How can you dream when you are drowning in student loan debt to pay for the education you need in order to get a good job?”

“But in the 1970s and ’80s, corporate America—the owners of big companies—decided to go its own way.  Instead of spending the money the company earned on workers, the corporations decided that their only real obligation was to their shareholders, those who bought company stock and therefore owned a piece of the company. From big business’s perspective, it was those owners who deserved the lion’s share of the riches, not the people who made the company run. So while productivity kept improving—a whopping 74 percent between  1973 and 2013—workers’ pay rose just 9 percent. In the 1980s, President Reagan made that idea core to the Republican Party’s view of economics. Cut taxes for corporations. Cut taxes for shareholders. Oppose minimum wage increases for workers. Oppose the very idea of a minimum wage. Crush organized labor—unions—the most powerful force fighting for workers’ rights to fair wages and decent working conditions. Roll back government regulation of corporations. Ignore the human cost.” 

“The goal of economic growth has to be to grow the pie. But if all that’s left for workers are the crumbs, what kind of economy are we really building? This was the context in which we entered the twenty-first century. The jobs were gone. Communities turned into ghost towns.” 

“But in the realm of public policy, of lawmaking, we seem to have trouble embracing innovation. That’s in part  because when you’re running for public office and you stand before the voters, you aren’t expected to have a  hypothesis; you’re expected to have “the Plan.” The problem is, when you roll out any innovation, new policy,  or plan for the first time, there are likely to be glitches, and because you’re in the public eye, those glitches are likely to end up blaring from headlines on the front page. This can discourage policymakers from pursuing bold actions. Even so, I believe it is our obligation to do so.” 

“Second, I choose to speak truth. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when it leaves people feeling uneasy.  When you speak truth, people won’t always walk away feeling good—and sometimes you won’t feel so great about the reaction you receive. But at least all parties will walk away knowing it was an honest conversation.” 

“In the spring of 1966, Cesar Chavez led a 340-mile march of Latinx and Filipino farmworkers from California’s  Central Valley to its state capital in an effort to draw attention to the mistreatment and terrible working conditions of his fellow farmworkers. That summer, the United Farm Workers was formed, and under Chavez’s leadership, it would become one of the most important civil rights and labor rights organizations in the country.” 

“Venus was part of the inspiration for a speech I often give, especially in front of groups of young women. I like  to induct them into what I call the “Role Models Club.” I tell them that, whatever profession they choose,  they’ve got to keep raising their hands, to share—and take credit for—their good ideas, and to know that they deserve to rise as high as they dare to climb. I also tell them that when they see others in need, they’ve got to go out of their way to lift them up. I tell them that sometimes members of the Role Models Club can feel alone.  Sometimes they may think, “Do I have to carry this burden by myself?” The fact is, they will find themselves in rooms where no one else looks like them. And breaking barriers can be scary. When you break through a glass ceiling, you’re going to get cut, and it’s going to hurt. It is not without pain. But I ask them to look around at one another and hold that image in their brains and their hearts and their souls. I tell them to remember that they are never in those rooms alone—that we are all in there with them, cheering them on. And so when they stand up,  when they speak out, when they express their thoughts and feelings, they should know that we’re right there in that room with them and we’ve got their back. I know Venus always has mine.” 

“When I travel the country, I see that optimism in the eyes of five- and seven- and ten-year-olds who feel a sense of purpose in being part of the fight. I see it, and feel it, in the energy of the people I meet. Yes, people are marching. Yes, people are shouting. But they are doing it from a place of optimism. That’s why they’ve got their babies with them. That’s why my parents took me in a stroller to civil rights marches. Because as overwhelming as the circumstances may be, they believe, as I do, that a better future is possible for us all.”


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Purpose: I create an empowering context for curious and hungry people looking for fulfillment, experiences, and creativity. We do this by developing their growth mindset, introducing self-love, and powerful group experiences. It results in people with strong boundaries, resilient mental health, and practical life skills

People leave with the ability to land their dream job, have autonomy and flexibility with their lifestyle, travel the world, and create from their heart and soul.


Davidson was once broke, insecure, low-confidence, and frustrated by doing all the wrong activities. Addicted to drugs, validation, and wallowing in self-pity. No relationship to family, and at the mercy of other people’s suggestions and opinions.

It was hell.

After spending $100k hiring different coaches, traveling the world doing workshops around the world, reading>1000 books, and through curiosity, have created the most effective system to remove people from that situation. My life’s work is to bring joy and abundance to people who as on a similar path as I was and bring back the joy and abundance of their life.

Through shared experiences and storytelling, I inspire and model behaviors that lead to a richer, more fulfilled life full of joy, experiences, passion, and ecstasy from the richness of relationships and being able to experience the depths of the human experience.

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