Poster by artist Favianna Rodriguez – created for Presente.org (you can buy it for $20 – www.presente.org)
“I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor
Happy U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Saturday!
It feels so good to offer that greeting. It makes me think about last summer when many people in America and around the world chanted,
“Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.”
This memory kept me company today as I sat around the dining room table eating breakfast and watching CNN’s coverage of Justice Sotomayor’s swearing in-ceremony with my parents. Our hearts were filled with the same joy we had when President Obama was elected on November 4, 2008, and sworn into office on January 20, 2009. Once again, we were witnessing a landmark day in American history. I will always remember it as the day a “wise Latina” stood with judicial elegance as she repeated her oath in front of a portrait of John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States of America. My chest protruded with fierce pride when I saw Justice Sotomayor calmly raise her right hand, gently lay it on the Bible her mother was holding, and clearly state she was prepared to take the oath. The words she confidently repeated tingled my spine:
“I, Sonia Sotomayor, do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as an associate justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
After Justice Sotomayor completed her oath and Chief Justice John Roberts congratulated her, I yelled: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor! Si Se Puede. Yes We Can. In that moment, I realized how her very presence “as an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences” can be used to inspire women and girls to live authentically and fully, dream big, learn, grow, achieve, create, and serve. That’s also when I realized Justice Sotomayor had set the 21st century women’s revolution on fire. Yes I said revolution! And the revolutionary question we, women and girls, must ask and answer from this day forward is: How will I as an ordinary person seek, have, and share extraordinary opportunities and experiences that allow me, my family, my community, and my country to live and thrive better?
Enjoy your day and weekend!
Peace, Creativity, and Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Shining Light,