The Big Lesson Ashley Biden Learned From Her Father

When presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden's youngest (and only surviving) daughter, Ashley Biden, was between 8 and 9 years old, she used to lecture her father, armed with posters, about "how we needed to save the dolphins" (via Delaware Today). That was the beginning of the 1990 Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act. Ashely, herself, stepped onto the floors of Congress to lobby for its passage.  

Today, the 39-year-old social worker runs what she insists is a non-partisan, sustainable fashion line, called Livelihood. Ashley Biden hopes that by buying a sweatshirt from the company, you're buying into more than just a "cozy, functional, and sleek hoodie." You're investing in a "socially and ethically conscious" fashion company. It's a company that believes that people can "take control of their lives and their destiny through social justice and civic engagement." A full 10 percent of the company's proceeds will go, on a quarterly basis, to community foundations working towards the "economic advancement" of chosen communities.

Even Ashley admits that she's picked up her passion for social justice from her father. In 2018, she told Delaware Today, "My dad always taught me that silence is complicity, and that I must stand up for anyone who was being treated unfairly. That has stayed with me through adulthood, and is the guiding principle in my professional life."

How her father's lessons have shaped Ashley Biden's life

"I just want people to know about economic inequality. I want them to [know] the history of it," Biden told The Washington Post when explaining the impetus behind her clothing line. It's a loud mission for a hoodie company, but if anybody can pull it off, Ashley Biden probably can. 

The Tulane University and University of Pennsylvania graduate hasn't always dedicated herself to fashion (via Delaware Online). In early 2019, she stepped down from her position as Director of the Delaware Center for Justice. There, she campaigned tirelessly against mass incarceration and for criminal justice reform. According to Ginger Ward, a board member of Delaware Center for Justice during Biden's tenure as director, Biden was good at her job because "she ha[d] personal experience that create[d] a unique bridge for those she [was] helping find a new direction and place in life."

Ward's words mirror what Ashley Biden claims as her go-to motto: "Never judge a person until you walked a mile in his or her shoes." It's a motto that is (perhaps not-so-unsurprisingly) similar to her dad's way of treating people. "The thing that always stuck out to me was how Dad treated all people, no matter of their circumstances, the same," Biden told Delaware Today, "He would treat the CEO of DuPont the same way he would treat a custodial worker at a hotel."