Obama's recent nominations for the Supreme Court, Judge Sotomayor became the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.Ladies, we're making a come up! Hillary Clinton, Condelezza Rice, and Nancy Pelosi were only the tip of the iceberg called CHANGE that we've been seeing make it's move in Washington. Now we can add two successful, educated, and powerful women to our roster of women to look up to; Sonia Sotomayor and Regina Benjamin. These two talented women have taken Washington by storm with President Obama's recent nominations of Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and Benjamin to be Surgeon General. If both of them are confirmed by the Senate Judge Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic woman to hold a Supreme Court position while Benjamin will be the United States third African American Surgeon General, and also it's third female holding the position. Not bad at all!Sonia Sotomayor is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A native of the Bronx New York, she is of Puerto Rican decent, and graduated from Princeton University in 1976 on a full scholarship and then from Yale Law School in 1979 where she was an editor of the Yale Law Review and also the recipient of a Juris Doctorate.After reading up and watching Judge Sotomayor over the past couple of weeks, it hasn't been her amazing record of fairness that has quite inspired me as much as her activism for the Latino culture. As a student at Princeton she observed that there were no full time Latino professors and no Latin American curriculum, and decided to take it upon herself to approach the President of the university to discuss this flaw in Princeton's educational foundation. After seeing no change Judge Sotomayor promptly filed a complaint with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare citing the schools discrimination in its hiring practices. Between her complaint, speaking with the New York Times and an article penned by her for the Daily Princetonian, the school began to hire Latino professors, and the Judge established open dialouge with Princeton's university President.In 1998, Judge Sotomayor became the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, one of the most demanding circuits in the country. She has participated in over 3000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, handling difficult issues of constitutional law, to complex procedural matters, to lawsuits involving complicated business organizations."The first Black woman to serve on the board of trustees for the American Medical Society, Regina Benjamin is an inspiring model of compassion when it comes to health care and her patients.
Regina Benjamin, a family doctor in Bayou La Batre Alabama, a Gulf Coast fishing community of about 2,500 and one of the most underserved places in the US. The the founder of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in 1990, she has had to maintain and rebuild the clinic after two hurricanes, George and Katrina, and a fire. The first Black woman to serve on the board of trustees for the American Medical Society, Regina Benjamin is an inspiring model of compassion when it comes to health care and her patients. Bayou La Batre being a fishing town, its been said that patients who could not afford medical care paid Ms. Benjamin in fish and shrimp without any complaint from the doctor. A committed physician, she has also taken part in aiding others in the building of heath clinics in rural areas.
“She brings the experience of someone who’s actually had to manage a person’s blood pressure and deal with people who can’t afford health care,” says Georges Benjamin, who has worked with her on health policy issues over the years.
In a news release posted today on the White House web site, Obama says, “Health care reform is about every family’s health and the health of our economy. And if there’s anyone who understands the urgency of meeting this challenge in a personal and powerful way, it’s the woman who will become our nation’s next surgeon general, Regina Benjamin.”
I wanted to use this weeks ‘The World According to M.I.S.S.’ to tell you a little about each of these amazing women, with the hopes that maybe this will ignite some sort of spark in each of you. As people telling ourselves anything is possible is a lot easier said than done, but women like Sonia Sotomayor and Regina Benjamin, along with the countless other beautiful faces we see and don’t see, have made it possible for us to reach a little higher than what use to be expected. All I can say is, Sistah’s Are Doing it for Themselves!