Vice President Kamala Harris made a stop by Johnson C. Smith during her Economic Opportunity Tour in Charlotte, NC. Harris has visited Charlotte five times in the administration's tenure.

During a moderated conversation at the institution, Harris was joined with actor Michael Ealy and political commentator Bakari Sellers. Also spotted at the event were Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Governor Roy Cooper, the acting Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services,

During the conversation, she emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration's groundbreaking efforts to boost economic opportunity. They tackled medical debt, generated jobs, supported small businesses, enhanced capital access, improved housing access, forgave student loans, and advocated for policies that enhance financial well-being.

“The numbers I have are that Black entrepreneurs are three times less likely to apply for small business loans and one of the main reasons why is folks don’t want to be disappointed. We know that’s like. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and to believe that you will be taken seriously and treated fairly,” Harris said during the conversation.

Vice President Harris first discussed on Tuesday a proposal from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which the administration backs, aiming to remove medical debt from individuals' credit reports and alleviate the financial burden of medical-related debt. This initiative forms part of the broader effort by the Biden administration to tackle debt, specifically focusing on student debt.

“Debt is not just about a financial number,” Vice President Harris said to the group gathered at Johnson C. Smith University on Wednesday. “It’s about how weighs on people and keeps them back.”

Vice President Kamala Harris has visited several HBCUs in her time in office. She spoke at South Carolina State's Freshman Convocation in September 2022. She also hosted a “Fight For Our Freedoms” College Tour last Fall where she visited Hampton University, Morehouse College, and North Carolina A&T.

“This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future,” Vice President Harris said in a statement announcing the tour in September. “It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality. My message to students is clear: We are counting on you, we need you, you are everything.”

Also of note, Harris made an appearance at the 2023 Celebration Bowl in December. Her alma mater Howard University faced off against Florida A&M University. During the game, she made an appearance on the ABC broadcast of the game alongside Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker.

Harris spoke about the significance of attending HBCU events such as the Celebration Bowl and Howard's matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks in the opening round of the 2023 March Madness tournament, saying, “Well, I mean, it's, it's a lived experience. I, you know, grew up through college going to our games and then go back for every year for many years to homecoming and to be able to celebrate the team as an extension of celebrating the school and all HBCUs. I mean, it's, it's very much a part of just a cultural appreciation and, and really lifting up just the beauty of the, the work and the excellence.”