Today, Thursday, Jan. 3, is the day that the 116th class of Congress will assume office and incidentally when Democrats will take back the House of Representatives. The incoming class will also be the most diverse class, with several women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals taking office.

Several of the groundbreaking class was featured on ESSENCE’s Chisholm List, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) who will be the youngest member of Congress at 29, Rep. Ayanna Pressley who will be the first Black congresswoman to represent Massachusetts, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American member of Congress.

Omar has been particularly reflective on Instagram, with her dad posting about their family’s story under her handle.

“Twenty-three years ago, my family and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC. We were newly arrived refugees in this country, from a refugee camp in Kenya. I had heard about the promise of America, prosperity for all and hope for a better tomorrow,” her father wrote. “I could never have dreamed that twenty-three years later I would return to the same airport with my daughter Ilhan by my side, the day before she is to be sworn in as the first Somali-American elected to the United States Congress.”

This is just giving context to why the hashtag #DemsTakeTheHouse (as well as #116thCongress) is trending on Twitter across the United States today, with social media reacting with joy and hope at the change that will surely come with more representation.

 

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