Essays Millennials

This piece was originally published on the Huffington Post. On May 9, 2015, I delivered the 100th commencement address at the College of Saint Benedict, a Catholic liberal arts college for women. I was the first commencement speaker of the Sikh faith in the College's history. I addressed the Class of 2015 on Mother's Day weekend. President Mary Hinton, professors and staff, family and friends, and the College of St Benedict's Class of 2015, it is an honor for me to address you today. On a bright day like this, not

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC Angelina Jolie’s medical condition is rare and few women could benefit from the genetic testing she received, but her New York Times op-ed has ignited a national conversation about barriers to care for breast cancer. In America today, white women are most likely to receive a breast cancer diagnosis, Asian women are least likely to screen for it, and black women are most likely to die from it. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women’s health in America. Millions more women suffer

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog. As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two marriage equality cases last week, my partner and I watched the television set with bated breath. When the camera zoomed in on the steps of the Supreme Court, and LGBTQ Americans took the podium to tell their stories, we took one another’s hand and choked back tears. We are a straight couple. The Supreme Court’s decisions on Proposition 8 and DOMA will decide the fate not only of about 9 million LGBTQ Americans and 14 million

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry blog. In the public debate raging over Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In, we should pay special attention to the voices of young people–women and men of different backgrounds. This week alone, I have heard from dozens of Millennials in their 20s and 30s, all from working class and middle class families. We know that “leaning in” to careers comes at a cost: it requires us to “lean on” other people for duties like cleaning and childcare. The people we lean on are often from

Published on CNN. As a politically active Millennial invested in this year's election, I was surprised by my own response to the first presidential debate: I was bored. But not for all the reasons the pundits are talking about. To be sure, President Barack Obama's lackluster performance and Mitt Romney's free rein over the moderator led us into the weeds of policy without a compass. But that wasn't the only reason the candidates didn't speak to me. The debate was supposed to be about domestic issues, but focused exclusively on