Temple voters featured in TIME magazine
Costumed as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, students Katelyn Barbour and Justin Procope land Time magazine feature.
On Nov. 7, after days of nail-biting uncertainty around the 2020 presidential election ended, Temple students surged into the heart of Philadelphia to celebrate President-elect Joe Biden’s win and the city’s role in the election.
Katelyn Barbour, Class of 2021, a media studies and production major and tourism and hospitality minor, and Justin Procope, Class of 2020, a media studies and production major and political science and French minor, took to the streets and joined hundreds of Philadelphians.
For Barbour, this was the first presidential election in which she was eligible to vote, making this moment all the more memorable.
“On both sides, we saw a huge amount of participation, which is crucial to our democracy. The tension of this election certainly brought about the most political participation we’ve ever seen on both sides,” said Barbour.
“The suspense of having to wait days for a winner was so stressful. When Biden was finally declared the winner, it couldn’t have felt any more relieving and empowering,” she added.
Procope remembers taking to the same streets four years ago.
“I was here as a freshman when Trump won the presidency in 2016 and that night I marched in protest alongside thousands of others. To be in those same streets now, not in protest but in celebration and joy, is truly special,” Procope said.
“At the last minute Katelyn and I decided to dress up as Kamala Harris (me) and Joe Biden (Katelyn) for a Halloween get together. That morning as we watched the celebrations begin in Philly, we looked at each other and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we went in our costumes,’” he added.
Though starting off as just a joke, Barbour and Procope couldn't pass up the stroke of serendipity.
Costumed as Biden and Harris, Barbour and Procope garnered attention from everyone, regardless of their political party. Procope donned a navy blazer and mid-length wavy locks, as Barbour rocked a silvered wig and Biden’s signature Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses.
“As soon as we got downtown, all we heard were car horns blasting, music playing and cheers of celebration,” said Procope.
“Everyone else who was celebrating was swarming us to get pictures! It was really just a ‘right place, right time’ situation,” said Barbour.
Philadelphia-based TIME photographer Michelle Gustafso couldn’t pass up this moment either.
“It was really an honor to be a part of something of such significance and as a woman and a first-time voter, it made me so happy to know I was included in this celebration,” said Barbour.
“We never thought we’d actually be featured in a TIME article, but sure enough there we were a few days later. It was pretty surreal to be featured in a story on the first female, first African American, and first biracial vice president in our history,” said Procope.
“Even though we were just a small detail, it’s a story I will tell as long as I live.”