A young girl looking up at a picture of rows of white men, who look nothing like her. Rows of them. The past Presidents of the United States.

That visual image from an equality campaign from years ago was so stark that I still remember it. I remember it because it stood for something.

With Vice President Kamala Harris being sworn in yesterday, a new era has started – and I feel lucky to be alive during it.

Biden’s inauguration speech spoke of America again being a beacon for the rest of the world. As an American living abroad, I know the importance of the US being outward facing and international. The importance of a President willing to speak about facing the inequalities that exist and working to solve them. The importance of the attempt to re-unite the country following the raid on the capital last week.

I know it’s going to be hard. Kamala Harris is not only the first woman in office but both the first Caribbean woman and Indian woman as well. It will be our collective responsibility to fight against the impending misinformation that will spread online. To each do what we can, to teach our friends and family, and to try to bring everyone on the journey of uniting the country. So that we can be that international beacon of liberty.

Inauguration poet Amanda Gorman said it best: “We are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose.”