Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Atlanta, speaks at Morehouse College | Everything you need to know

The vice president was in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 10:44 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:39 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Vice President Kamala Harris was in Atlanta Tuesday as part of a nationwide tour aimed at galvanizing young adults to fight for key issues including reproductive freedom, gun safety laws, climate change, voting rights, and LGBTQ+ equality.

The “Fight For Our Freedoms College Tour” will take the VP across seven states and a handful of historically Black college and university campuses.

“There will be people you don’t even realize who will be watching how you do what you do in a way that inspires them to be on the path that you have laid” Harris told a room full of Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta and Morris Brown students. “You just keep leading, I’m counting on you and I am so very optimistic.”

Under the leadership of Harris and President Joe Biden, the administration has earmarked $7 billion for HBCU institutions over the past three years. They also established an HBCU White House Board to tackle the biggest issues facing their students and faculty.

Harris, who herself graduated from HBCU Howard University in Washington, D.C., brought an optimistic message about the future of Black education to Atlanta with her. HBCUs have produced 50% of Black teachers, 70% of Black doctors and 80% of Black judges.

“I promise you, each one of you, if you haven’t already, will have an experience where you’re going to walk into a meeting room, a board room, a courtroom, and you’re going to be the only one in that room that looks like you or has had your life experience,” Harris said. “And what I want for you is to remember that we are all in that room with you.”

After the event, HBCU students said they’d like to see more attention and funding put towards housing and facilities.

“I would like to see more funding go towards just housing in general for HBCU students and also our classroom facilities,” said Jelani Francis, a junior at Spelman. “I know a lot of STEM students particularly feel like they have outdated equipment and I’d like to see it be upgraded.”

“Since our HBCUs are growing right now, especially after the coronavirus pandemic, having spaces for more people to stay on campus,” said Zoe Blackmon, also a Spelman junior. “Because overall there’s a lot of housing issues. More people are applying, more people are being accepted, but overall we aren’t getting those resources.”

For many, simply the vice president’s presence was the biggest takeaway from the event.

“It wasn’t it wasn’t about what she said that was groundbreaking for me, it was just the vision; being able to see a Black woman that went to Howard University becoming the Vice President,” said Morehouse pre-law senior Elizjai Cooley. “It just shows that there’s a possibility for HBCU students.”

What time is Kamala Harris going to be in Atlanta?

The vice president departed Joint Base Andrews in Washington, D.C. for Atlanta Tuesday morning. She was scheduled to land at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 11:45 a.m.

A live look as VP Kamala Harris lands at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Harris arrived in Atlanta shortly before noon on Tuesday. She was greeted by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and others awaiting the vice president’s arrival.

At 12:18 p.m., Harris departed from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Morehouse College.

Harris delivered remarks during a moderated conversation at Morehouse Tuesday afternoon. The event is part of her national “Fight for our Freedoms” college tour.


Following the Morehouse event, Harris will give a brief speech at a campaign reception in Atlanta. Her appearance is scheduled for 3:15 p.m., as indicated on the White House planning board. The specific location of that event is not known.

Will Kamala Harris in Atlanta affect my flight?

When a senior government official — like the vice president — travels, a perimeter is usually established for safety reasons. Flying is no exception. When Vice President Harris nears Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, a plan will be put in motion, which includes clearing of the ramp where the plane will arrive, a brief closure of the surrounding airspace, and landside restrictions. The whole process begins about 10 minutes before the plane lands, with normal airport operations resuming once the motorcade departs from the airport.

How Vice President’s visit impact traffic in Downtown Atlanta?

While the vice president’s route is not specifically known, there are a few possible routes she could take and it could lead to temporary road closures. Here are some scenarios for routes the vice president can take.

Option #1: I-85 N to Joseph E Lowery Blvd

Harris’ motorcade could take her down an 11.4-mile commute from the world’s busiest airport to Morehouse College’s main campus, located just off Joseph E. Lowery Blvd.

Option #2: I-85 N and GA-154 E

This route will also include I-85 north and go all the way up to Exit 77, where the motorcade would take GA-166 west to East Point toward Exit 154 north near the Tyler Perry Studios. From there, Lee Street to Joseph E Lowery Blvd would be impacted.

Option #3: I-85 N and US-19 N/US Hwy 41 N

The 9.3-mile route goes from I-85 north all the way to exit 76/Cleveland Avenue. From there, the motorcade would travel along US-19 north to Metropolitan Parkway and onto Spelman Lane. Greensferry Avenue, Lawshe Street, and Atlanta Student Boulevard/Fair Street would be impacted.

Regardless of which path the vice presidential motorcade takes, motorists should plan for closures along the route leading away from the airport and toward I-85 north between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. A significant portion of Joseph E. Lowery Blvd is also likely to be closed.

What time is Kamala Harris leaving Atlanta?

The vice president will make her way back to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at around 4:55 p.m. This will surely impact the afternoon rush hour commute in Atlanta. The exact route is not known because the location of her 3:15 p.m. engagement is unknown.