“The Firsts”: How Freshman Rep. Sharice Davids Showed Up for Her Community

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“You get to decide what success means.”

Congresswoman Sharice Davids at the Overland Park Advocacy & Awareness March in Overland Park, Kan., in June 2020. (Will England / Flickr)

In The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer documents the experiences of freshmen congresswomen who took Congress by storm in 2019.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of The Firsts:


Can you believe we are going to be members of Congress?

—Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) to Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.)

On an overcast day in April, a dozen high school girls gathered in a recreation room in Juniper Gardens, the oldest and largest public housing complex in Kansas City, Kansas. It was their weekly meeting with the Learning Club, an after-school program that offers tutoring and mentoring to some of the most…

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