On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court voted in a historic ruling in favor of same sex marriage nationwide. I happened to be in San Francisco (my favorite city) at the American Library Association Conference to celebrate my friend’s book recognition at the The International Latino Book Awards. My friend’s book, Birth of a New J: A Cathartic Memoir, by Julie Guardado, was honored first place for best Ebook. As we walked and celebrated the many wins that took place on this special weekend, I was filled with so much emotion at being present at one of our countries greatest moves towards justice and equality.
I am a big advocate for multicultural and diverse picture books because they give children opportunities to learn about people, cultures, customs and religions that are different from their own. Multicultural picture books open worlds, and begin necessary conversations about tolerance, respect, equality and justice. As a child, I never read multicultural picture books, but I had two parents who spoke to me often about the unfair treatment of others because of race, gender, religion, culture, language, sexual orientation, skin color and education. My parents spoke to me often that through my education I would be able to speak up for individuals who didn’t have a voice. My parents spoke to me often about the cruel and unfair injustices they faced for being negatively perceived as “poor, lazy, stupid, uneducated immigrants”. My parents spoke to me often that we must always be an example of love, respect, kindness – as this is the way of God.
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.
This is my doctrine: Give every other human being every right you claim for yourself.
-Robert G. Ingersoll
Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.
Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.
From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests: you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.
In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.