New York Times best-selling author and CEO of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, Meena Harris is back with her second children’s book Ambitious Girl, which was released on January 19, 2021. Ambitious Girl follows the release of Meena Harris’ debut children’s book Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea which was released in 2020.
As a child growing up Meena was taught that having ambition was a good thing. Seeing ambition, specifically female ambition was the norm for Meena, and it shaped her worldview. Meena was raised and influenced by her mother Maya Harris (Lawyer and Public Policy Advocate), aunt Kamala D. Harris (United States Vice President) and her grandmother Shyamala Gopalan Harris (Biomedical Scientist).
It wasn’t until becoming an adult did Meena learn that her worldview was a unique one. She learned that more often than not the word ambitious was not always looked at in the positive way she experienced growing up, particularly when describing women. Meena discovered that the word ambitious was often used to negatively critique women and that men were rarely described as being too ambitious. She also made the discovery that many girls and women are taught to hide their ambition.
“Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.”
Undoubtedly, this negative perception of ambition can potentially hold girls and women back from reaching their fullest potential. But not if Meena has something to do about it. As the mother of two daughters, Meena has an understanding of the power of words and books. Meena’s goal with her latest release is to pass on the values that she learned growing up in her family to girls across the world. Working to reclaim and reframe how the word ambitious is used in the description of girls and women is something that will make the world better for girls, women and yes… boys and men.
Ambitious Girl is available now.