U.S. Representative Sharice Davids, a member of the Ho Chunk Nation and one of the first two Native American women in Congress, will join Jonathon Van Ness in a conversation to celebrate the launch of her new children’s book, “Sharice’s Big Voice,” with a virtual event at 7:30 p.m. CT Tuesday, June 1.
The event is sponsored by Birchbark Books, a Native-focused bookstore in Minneapolis owned by writer Louise Erdich. It is free and open to all but requires registration at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/sharicesbigvoicelaunch. A purchase is not required, however, participants can choose to buy a signed copy for themselves or buy a book to be donated to We Need Diverse Books, a national nonprofit that puts books with diverse characters into classrooms around the country.
““Sharice’s Big Voice,”” is an autobiography of her story growing up and her journey to Congress. Davids is also the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas.
“I thought that it would be great to show that everybody’s journey is different, but everybody’s journey can lead them to so many different places,” said Davids. “For me, I felt like I had a story that a lot of people might be able to understand and maybe even connect with.”
Sharice Davids was inspired to public service by her single mom, an army drill sergeant. Raised on military bases, Sharice worked her way through Johnson County Community College in Kansas City, before eventually earning a law degree from Cornell Law School. As a first-generation college student, Representative Davids is focused on increasing opportunity by supporting public education and affordable healthcare. When she was sworn into the 116th Congress, Representative Davids became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress.
Joining the Congresswoman in a conversation is Jonathan Van Ness, a non-binary, openly gay hairdresser, podcaster, and television personality who is best known from the Netflix series Queer Eye. He debuted as a writer of his memoir, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love. He is also passionate about the rights of the LGBTQ community, as well as politics.
“Sharice’s Big Voice” was recently named Here Wee Read’s 2021 List of Ultimate Diverse Children’s Books and Publisher Weekly’s New and Forthcoming Titles on Women, Girls and Empowerment. It was also selected as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. It is Davids’ first published book.
“Sharice’s Big Voice” is co-written by Nancy K. Mays, a Kansas City-based author and instructor at the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism. The book includes information about the Ho-Chunk Nation written by John Greendeer, former president of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and is illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, an Ojibwe Woodland artist from Barrie, Ontario, and a member of Wasauksing, First Nation.
For more information about the book, visit www.sharicesbigvoice.com