Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead - My Life Story
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, daughter of the late Ann Richards, featured speaker at the Women's March on Washington, and "the heroine of the resistance" (Vogue), is a defining voice of the movement on how to lead and be of service, based on her lifetime of experience fighting for social justice.
Cecile Richards has been an activist since she was sent home from junior high for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. Richards had an extraordinary girlhood in ultra-conservative Texas where her rabble-rouser democratic parents--her father a civil rights attorney and mother always volunteering on the latest political campaign--made waves. In the Richards household, "the kitchen table was never for eating - it was for sorting precinct lists."
She watched her mother, Ann, transform herself from a housewife to a force in American politics who captured the imagination of the nation when she became the governor of Texas and proved that women could run for public office, win, and lead effectively. But Richards also witnessed the pitfalls of political life that are unique to women and persist today--as exeplified by her marathon congressional testimony in defense of Planned Parenthood where she held her own against hostile questions for five hours.
As a young woman, Richards worked as a labor organizer for low-wage workers and learned that "power is like a pieto give someone else power, you have to relinquish some of your own and those in power don't usually give it up without a fight."
Now, as one of the most well-respected and renowned leaders of the resistance and progressive movements in American politics today, she shares her story for the first time, encouraging readers to lead and find the joy in service of others. Richards has never ceased pushing for progress and her memoir will inspire readers to hope and action.
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, is a nationally respected leader in the field of women's health and reproductive rights. Before joining Planned Parenthood, Richards served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2004, she founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of 42 national grassroots organizations working to maximize registration, education, and voter participation. She began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas. Richards is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to women's rights, reproductive health, and sex education. Richards currently serves on the board of the Ford Foundation. She and her husband, Kirk Adams, have three children and reside in New York City.
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