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Vice President Harris emphasizes gun safety, reproductive freedom and voting rights during Flagstaff event

Vice President Kamala Harris takes part in a discussion
Ryan Heinsius/KNAU
On Tue, Oct. 17, 2023 Vice President Kamala Harris took part in a discussion at Northern Arizona University's Ardrey Auditorium in Flagstaff as part of her Fight for Our Freedoms Tour that made stops at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Voto Latino Foundation co-founder and president María Teresa Kumar and actor Jay Ellis served as moderators.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Flagstaff Tuesday. It was part of a month-long tour of U.S. colleges and universities focusing on issues mainly affecting young people.

Harris took part in a moderated discussion on the Northern Arizona University campus about reproductive freedom, climate action, gun safety and other issues.

She also fielded questions from students that touched on immigration, voting rights and Indigenous sacred sites.

It was the latest stop on the vice president’s Fight for Our Freedoms Tour meant to galvanize the support of young people for what Harris termed “fundamental rights.”

"I am here to tell you—and I say this as the vice president of the United States—your nation is counting on you. We need you. And personally, I want you to be able to live your best life," said Harris.

The event was the vice president’s ninth stop on her month-long tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, a distinction NAU received in 2021 as its Hispanic enrollment reached 25%.

At the event, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona also spoke about diversity and cultural identity, and Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes vowed to continue fighting Arizona’s 1864 abortion ban.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.