U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, Kansas Rep. Christina Haswood to discuss Davids’ new children’s book at Raven Book Store event
photo by: HarperCollins Publishers
Updated at 4:38 p.m. Monday
Rep. Sharice Davids will appear at a virtual Raven Book Store event next week, just two days after the release of her new book, “Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman.”
The picture book autobiography tells the story of Davids’ path to Congress. Davids is Kansas’ 3rd District congresswoman, was one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress and was Kansas’ first LGBTQ congressperson. The book, recommended for ages 4 to 8, teaches readers to use their big voice and that everyone deserves to be heard.
In a statement to the Journal-World, Davids wrote that people may assume she was the class valedictorian or that she never made any mistakes.
“But that wasn’t my path at all,” Davids wrote. She said that when she was young she never thought she’d be in Congress.
“I wanted to write a book that shows kids that there are lots of paths. That all kinds of things are possible. That your choices have power, and your voice deserves to be heard,” Davids said.
The free, virtual event through the Raven Book Store will take place June 3 at 7 p.m. and can be accessed by going to ravenbookstore.com and clicking on the “events” link or by going to crowdcast.io/ravenbookstore.
Davids will be joined on June 3 by her co-author, Nancy Mays, and Kansas state Rep. Christina Haswood. Mays is a lecturer at the University of Kansas, and Haswood holds Kansas’ 10th District House seat.
Danny Caine, owner of the Raven Book Store, said the event would feature Davids and Haswood in conversation. Caine called Haswood a “rising star” in Kansas politics.
“Just to see these two inspiring representatives in conversation with one another is a huge honor,” he said.
Like Davids, Haswood is Native American. Haswood is a member of the Navajo Nation, and Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Both Davids and Haswood attended Haskell Indian Nations University. The book’s illustrator, Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, is an Ojibwe Woodland artist.
Seeing Davids and other Native American women step into leadership positions inspired Haswood to begin her political career — “I really said to myself, ‘Oh, I can do this, if they can do this.'”
Haswood said relatively few books featured inspirational Native American coming-of-age stories, and she is excited to see how Davids’ book will help fill that gap. She hopes the book will help teach children of color that they can be politicians.
“If I was younger, this is exactly something I would read, and I hope others can get inspired by it,” Haswood said.