We sat down with San Francisco-based lawyer and entrepreneur Meena Harris to find out more about her latest endeavors. On June 2, 2020, Meena published her first book, a children’s tale from HarperCollins entitled Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, which is based on a true family story about the childhood of Meena’s mother and aunt. Meena also founded the Phenomenal Women Action Campaign in 2017, a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes. Here, she tells us about her brand-new book, what being bold means to her, and of course, how Birdies help her feel bold, bright, and confident.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book is based on a true story from the childhood of my aunt and mom. It’s a story I heard all the time growing up, being raised by three strong women: my mom, my aunt, and my grandmother. I wanted to memorialize it, not only for my daughters but also for all children. I think we can all learn something from Kamala and Maya, in real life and on the pages.
How do you hope this book will impact kids and families?
Books can challenge assumptions about the way our children see the world and change the way they see themselves. This is a book about two little black girls making a positive change in their community. Kamala and Maya show us the power of persistence and teach us, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” I couldn’t have imagined the environment in which this book would come into the world when I started writing it two years ago, but it couldn’t be more timely.
Where can people buy the book?
Independent bookstores urgently need our help right now to stay afloat. We’ve put together a list with an independent bookstore in every state. You can check it out on our website at phenomenalgirl.com — support your state or favorite place to visit!
What is your definition of bold and how do you incorporate this into your day-to-day?
Using your voice unapologetically. I speak up, and I teach my girls to do the same.
How do Birdies make you feel bright, bold, and confident?
Making a statement, especially in cheetah print, always inspires confidence.
Who or what inspires you to be bold?
All of the incredible women and female founders in my life who are chasing their dreams, no matter what or who tries to get in their way.
What’s a bold move you’ve made in your life?
Having kids back-to-back while starting a business.
What advice would you give future generations of women to live boldly and with purpose?
Don’t worry about what other people think. Follow your purpose and be bold on your own terms.
Meena is part of our new “Bright. Bold. Birdies.” campaign, featuring and celebrating women who embody what it means to be bold inside and out. In this series, they share their stories of success and how Birdies help them soar.