ARIAS Woman: Meena Harris

We are thrilled to be spotlighting ARIAS Woman, Meena Harris. CEO & Founder of Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, lawyer, activist, and New York Times Bestselling author, Meena and Creative Director Nina Arias were friend's in high school.  Enjoy Nina's interview with Meena below.

Meena wear ARIAS New York Puff Sleeve dress from the Autumn/Winter '21 collection in the color tan.

Meena wears ARIAS Autumn/Winter '20 Puff Sleeve Dress.

 

Hi Meena!  Ages from our childhood days growing up in the Bay Area in California, when did you know you had a passion for activism? 

I grew up in what I like to call a “social justice family”—which means I learned at a very young age what activism looks like, and what it can achieve. My grandmother was no stranger to protests and political rallies, but she was also a great example of living out everyday acts of resistance. She taught me I should always try to make an impact, wherever I was, however I could—big or small. That idea became the central line of my kids’ book, Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea: “No one can do everything. But everyone can do something."

 

I think we both pride ourselves in supporting others along our own journeys. What does Women Supporting Women Mean to You?

It means setting an example by taking risks to pursue your ideas and support others in theirs, leading with empathy and compassion, and holding the door open for those who come after you. My grandma always used to say, “You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you're not the last.” I think that is good advice for all of us.

 

Meena Harris wearing ARIAS New York Signature Blouse Dress in ivory.

Meena wears ARIAS Spring/Summer '18 Signature Blouse Dress. 

I often find myself wanting to help but not knowing how to start. How do we get involved? What are some small things we can do in our communities to help make a difference?  

In times like these, it’s not always obvious what you can do—as an ordinary person—to try and make a difference. Not everybody has to make a big leap, and of course, none of us can do everything, but we all have to do something—organize a food drive, send letters to seniors stuck at home, clean up your local park, start a community garden. There are unlimited ways to make a difference.  Just start!