One is known for her iconic portrayal of a Washington power player. The other is one in real life. Actress Kerry Washington and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor returned to their old stomping grounds, the Bronx, on Friday to visit students and talk about Sotomayor's new children's picture book about her life, Turning Pages.
About 200 children and a few adults packed the Hostos Community College auditorium, hanging to Sotomayor and Washington's every word. The Supreme Court justice shared with the students that the City University of New York (CUNY) school holds a special place in her family. It's where her mother studied nursing while Sotomayor and her brother were in high school and still living at the Bronxdale Houses. The public housing complex has since been renamed after Sotomayor.
"My brother, I, and my mom would sit at the kitchen table studying together. Isn't that amazing?" Sotomayor said.
The event was organized by the Bronx Children's Museum. It's still not open, but the organization said this was just one of several interactive events to inspire young people in the borough. Washington's parents were in the audience. Her mother is a museum board member.
"It's an exciting opportunity for the kids to see what's possible, and that there's pride in being from the Bronx, and that the opportunities are there, and to have the exposure to these people is a wonderful opportunity for them," said John Boudreau, marketing director for the Bronx Children's Museum.
Sotomayor and Washington joined the audience, doled out hugs, and shared anecdotes with the kids about growing up in the Bronx and answered some of their very thoughtful questions.
"Can you describe which book inspired you to be a judge?" Adrian Murillo asked Sotomayor.
"I thought they were really nice and I thought they were great people," student Jaylin Lambert said.
The children all walked away with their very own copies of Sotomayor's book and some pretty cool bragging rights.