All The Times Kamala Harris Has Received Awards For Being The Political Trailblazer That She Is

Even before venturing into politics, Kamala Harris' impressive career cemented her as a leader and change maker — long before she became the first Black female vice president. It's clear that Vice President Harris has made history in many ways, but before taking on the White House alongside President Joe Biden, the former California state attorney general and United States senator had been honored by various groups for her accomplishments.

Harris began her law career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, specializing in prosecuting child sexual assaulters (according to White From there, she transitioned to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, working as a managing attorney and later as the district attorney herself. As many know, Harris was later elected as California's attorney general, with one of the most memorable aspects of her time in the position — caught on-camera — being when she called on behalf of same gender plaintiffs, making sure that their marriage license was honored as Prop 8 passed. It comes as no surprise, then, that the trailblazer has received some of the most prestigious awards as an attorney and politician.

Kamala Harris received two awards in 2005

Thirteen years after passing the California Bar Exam, Kamala Harris had risen through the ranks to become San Francisco's first Black female district attorney in 2003 (according to BET and JD Advising). After stints in the San Francisco City Attorney's office and the District Attorney's office she would later take on, Harris implemented an education and employment program for first-time drug offenders that would pave the way for a national model.

Harris' work as a prosecuting attorney primed her for the first major award she would receive just two years later. The National Black Prosecutors Association awarded Harris with its prestigious Thurgood Marshall Award in 2005, per BET.

The National Black Prosecutors Association's Thurgood Marshall Award wasn't the only major recognition Harris received in 2005. That same year, she was selected as one of the subjects for Newsweek's "20 of America's Most Powerful Women" (per Vocalid).

Harris is a TIME 100 alum three times over

Kamala Harris was selected as a member of TIME 100 not one, not two, but three separate times. You can find her under the "Leader" section of the lists in 2013, 2020, and 2021. "Kamala Harris has always been a trailblazer," Massachusetts representative Ayanna Pressley said in her TIME article honoring Harris in 2020. "She broke barriers in California, made history in the U.S. Senate, and now she's the first Black woman and first Indian American to be nominated for Vice President by a major political party."

Pressley concluded, naturally, that Harris was truly a trailblazer. "Kamala every day embodies the beliefs and expectations of little girls and young women who see themselves in her," she wrote. A year later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seconded the sentiment.

"In becoming Vice President, Kamala Harris made history," Pelosi wrote in the 2021 article, "and now she is making progress for the people."

She was a Glamour Woman of the Year in 2018

Kamala Harris was honored by Glamour as a Woman of the Year in 2018. "Years from now people will ask us, 'Where were you?' And we're all going to be able to say, 'Fighting for the best of who we are,'" she said in her speech at the event, according to the magazine's digital timeline and history of the awards. Now, when people ask Harris that question — where were you — she will be able to answer: The White House.

In her acceptance speech, Harris made it clear that she would continue to be a warrior and fight for one thing in particular: truth.

"[I]f we are going to be a country that engages in honest conversations with the point of getting beyond where we are and seeing what we can be unburdened by what we have been, we must speak truth — and speak the truth uncomfortable and difficult though it may be to hear," Harris said in her speech, according to the magazine.

She shared the honor of TIME Person of the Year in 2020

Kamala Harris was the TIME Person of the Year alongside Joe Biden in 2020. "She had experience in federal and state office, and had weathered the scrutiny that comes with running for president, even if her campaign didn't succeed," TIME wrote about Harris. 

The criteria for TIME Person of the Year, the publication notes, includes that "the person or persons" must be individuals who "most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year." Biden and Harris did impact the news and lives of Americans leading up to their inauguration into the White House, with Harris saying that she hopes she has changed American politics for good. 

"I will be the first, but I will not be the last," Harris said, according to TIME. "That's about legacy, that's about creating a pathway, that's about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in."

Harris was selected for two Forbes awards in 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris' name could be found on Forbes' 50 Over 50 list in 2021. She is one of the impressive women to be included in the outlet's inaugural edition of the list, which includes "entrepreneurs, leaders and creators who are part of an exhilarating movement redefining life's second half and proving that success has no age limit." She was 56 at the time of the list's release, but she hadn't shown any signs of slowing down in her career.

That wasn't the only honor Forbes offered the vice president that year. Harris was named one of The World's Most Powerful Women in 2021 by the outlet. Holding the second highest office in the United States, it is clear that Harris wields more power than most people alive. She was No. 2 on Forbes' list, second only behind billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Harris has proven — time and time again — that she is a true trailblazer within the realm of politics.