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Posted on: August 8, 2018

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Visit the East Lansing-MSU Community this August

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, will be visiting the East Lansing-MSU community this August as part of the 2018 One Book, One Community (OBOC) program. Sotomayor’s memoir, “My Beloved World,” is this year’s OBOC selection.

Learn more about the public events that will be taking place during her visit:

OBOC Kick-off Event: An Evening with Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
The community is invited to the OBOC Kick-off Event: An Evening with Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at the East Lansing High School Theater, 509 Burcham Drive. The event, which is free and open to the general public, will feature a moderated Q&A with Justice Sotomayor. Community members are asked to submit their questions ahead of time online: http://www.onebookeastlansing.com/questions. The deadline to submit a question for consideration is this Friday, Aug. 10. Community members planning to attend the event are encouraged to review the admission guidelines:

  • Doors will open at 5 p.m.
  • Community members will be seated on a first come, first serve basis. A simulcast will be set up in the cafeteria in the event of an overflow crowd.
  • There will be metal detector screening at the entrance and no bags, backpacks or purses will be permitted.
  • Attendees are asked to refrain from taking photos, recording or using any electronic devices during the event.
  • There will not be a book signing.


MSU Academic Welcome
Associate Justice Sotomayor will also speak during the MSU Academic Welcome at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, 534 Birch Road, on Monday Aug. 27 at 9 a.m. This event is also free and open to the general public. Individuals planning to attend this event are encouraged to review the admission guidelines:

  • There will be metal detector screening at the entrance and no bags, backpacks or purses will be permitted.
  • Attendees are asked to refrain from taking photos, recording or using any electronic devices during the event.
  • There will not be a book signing.


MSU Student Q&A
There will also be an MSU Student Q&A with Justice Sotomayor at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center (Big Ten A), 219 S. Harrison Road, at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27. This event is free and open to all MSU students (undergraduate and graduate). Sotomayor will be answering pre-selected questions submitted by students. Students are asked to submit their questions ahead of time online: http://www.onebookeastlansing.com/questions. The deadline to submit a question for consideration is this Friday, Aug. 10. Students planning to attend the event are encouraged to review the admission guidelines:  

  • There will be metal detector screening at the entrance and no bags, backpacks or purses will be permitted.
  • Students will be seated on a first come, first serve basis. A simulcast will be set up in the Kellogg Auditorium in the event of an overflow crowd.
  • Attendees are asked to refrain from taking photos, recording or using any electronic devices during the event.
  • There will not be a book signing.


Information for Media
The public events listed above are open to media coverage, including broadcast; however, the following guidelines should be noted:

  • Still photographers are asked to limit photos to the first one to two minutes and the last one to two minutes of Sotomayor’s appearance at these events.
  • Broadcast cameras are asked to work from a fixed position at the back of each event space.
  • Designated seating for all other news media (excluding broadcast cameras) will be available at each public event. Media are asked to sit in the balcony at the OBOC Kick-off Event, Section 111 at the MSU Academic Welcome and the back row at the MSU Student Q&A.


About the Book: “My Beloved World”
Sotomayor’s story is one of determination and the hope, tenacity, hard work and self-reliance that would propel a little girl who grew up in a Puerto Rican corner of the Bronx to the highest court in the land. In “My Beloved World,” Sotomayor provides readers with a frank and loving account of her coming of age and her large extended family, many with roots still in Puerto Rico. Sotomayor also recounts the adversity she has faced in her life – from growing up in poverty with an at-times challenging family life to her lifelong management of juvenile diabetes and her determination to adapt to a wider world that would eventually result in her becoming the first Latina and third woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sotomayor’s retelling of her exuberant, colorful and close-knit family is reminiscent of many first and second generation immigrants, who rely on each other as they adapt to a new world. Always personal and intimate, her story is that of the importance of family and the determined reach for participation in the American dream. Sotomayor’s story gives us insight into her passage into the heady and, to her, often strange world of academia and later the practice of law.

A foretelling of her grit and tenacity, Sotomayor learned to give herself insulin shots at the tender age of seven when she was first diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It was those characteristics of grit and tenacity that later carried her from being named valedictorian of her high school to graduating with honors from Princeton University and serving as an editor of the Yale Law Journal at Yale Law School. Sotomayor says, “Experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true.”

The One Book, One Community program encourages the East Lansing-Michigan State University community to read the same book and come together to explore its themes and issues at a variety of campus and community events each fall. The selected book is widely read on and off campus and is a required reading for all incoming freshmen. The highlight of the program is the visit by the author(s) to the community in the fall. OBOC is one of the first community reading programs to bring together the students of a major university and the residents of its surrounding community. Learn more about OBOC and the 2018 program at www.onebookeastlansing.com.

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