Aug 31, 2023 - Education

Boston attorney's children's book explores diversity through his dog's adventures

Obie the dog crouches down playfully next to two squirrels and a bunny in a field as two birds look on from a tree branch

Photo: Courtesy of Iván Espinoza-Madrigal/Lisa Marie Brennan

Iván Espinoza-Madrigal and his partner spent the beginning of the pandemic in the Berkshires where they learned a surprising lesson from their dog, Obie.

  • They noticed how their city pup didn't hesitate to meet new animals like owls and porcupines, despite their obvious differences.

What's happening: Espinoza-Madrigal, a Boston-based civil rights attorney, decided to write a children's book about it with author Susan Rich, "Obie's Adventures in the Berkshires."

  • The story explores diversity, equity and inclusion through the eyes of Obie, a 10-year-old Lhasa-poodle mix being raised by an interracial, same-sex couple.
  • The book was published earlier this summer.

The intrigue: Espinoza-Madrigal has been on the front lines of high-profile lawsuits and policy campaigns, including recent calls for the federal government to investigate Harvard's legacy admissions practices.

  • But he'd never written a children's book before.

What they're saying: The time spent in the Berkshires "had a lot of lessons for me in terms of really making sure that I stay open to different experiences and that I remain open-minded about being able to navigate and to meet people across lines of difference," Espinoza-Madrigal told Axios.


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