Things to Do in Miami: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Gloria Estefan at Temple Judea, Jan. 28, 2020
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Some of us are lucky enough to find time to hit the gym after work, but US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has kind of written several books. In addition to her two memoirs – My Beloved World 2014 and The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor – she has authored two children’s books: Turning Pages 2018: My Life Story and her most recent work, Just Ask !: Be Different, Be from last year Brave, Be You, in collaboration with the illustrator Rafael López.
As discussed in an interview on NPR, Sotomayor’s latest youth-oriented book is about 12 children with different abilities who create a garden together. Some kids in Just Ask! have different characteristics on the autism spectrum and one has asthma. Just ask! encourages the reader to inquire about the differences between characters rather than adopting and forming opinions.
“Just as gardens have different plants and different trees and different types of flowers and different birds and animals that populate the garden, in our society we also have different types of people doing different types of things,” Sotomayor said. “This will help see things from a different perspective and build a healthy friendship that can highlight the difference that makes us who we are.”
Just ask! was partly inspired by Sotomayor’s experience with type 1 diabetes and a particular incident at a restaurant where she regularly injected insulin before meals. A woman was going to the bathroom when Sotomayor went out after taking her insulin. Later that evening, when the Supreme Court Justice was leaving the restaurant, she overheard the woman say Sotomayor was “a drug addict”.
She replied, “Madam, I’m not a drug addict. I’m a diabetic, and this injection that I gave myself is insulin. It’s the medicine that keeps me alive. If you don’t know why someone is doing something, just ask her. Don’t assume the worst in people. “This plea for communication is the central point of Just Ask: If this woman had simply spoken to Sotomayor about the injection, the embarrassing mishap could have been avoided. In a discussion at the Miami Book Fair in 2019, Sotomayor said, “The shame should be in not asking, the shame should always be staying ignorant because you choose not to ask why. “
She will return to Miami next Tuesday, January 28th, for Just Ask! at the Temple of Judea in Coral Gables. On the evening hosted by Books & Books, Sotomayor will be accompanied by Miami music legend Gloria Estefan. The two will have an open discussion from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sotomayor is revered for her well-structured and clear opinions that do not contain flowery language and nebulous penumbras. Their dissenting opinion in Trump versus Hawaii – known colloquially as the “Trump Travel Ban” – has been widely discussed in the media. Their legal conceptions eschew academic jargon and jargon in favor of a style that the American public can understand. And while children’s books and legal opinions may seem completely dissimilar, Sotomayor believes that writing for a young audience helped make their written statements more accessible to a wider audience.
“Most people read opinions on legal issues from what? Television and newspapers, “said the judiciary in the aforementioned discussion of the Miami Book Fair.” But how can you talk about something if you haven’t read the thoughts that led people to their results? ”
An evening with Sonia Sotomayor in conversation with Gloria Estefan. Hosted by Books & Books. Tuesday, January 28th, 7pm, Temple Judea, 5500 Granada Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-667-5657; booksandbooks.com. Tickets via eventbrite.com are sold out.
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Grant Albert is a Miami born and raised writer. He likes basset hounds, techno, and climbing – in that order.