President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, daughter of the late Gov. Ann Richards and featured speaker at the Women’s March on Washington Cecile Richards has spent a lifetime fighting for social justice and women’s rights.
Called a “heroine of the resistance” by Vogue, Richards shared her story after years of advocacy, resistance and progressive leadership for the first time in the eagerly anticipated memoir, “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead.” The book launch for her memoir will take place at the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library on April 3.
In “Make Trouble,” Richards presents a timely and important message: To make change, you have to make trouble. In her book, she illuminates the people and the lessons that have gotten her through good times and bad and the experiences that taught her how to stand up, speak out, and find the courage to lead.
These experiences include her extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, growing up in a household with activist parents who taught her to be a troublemaker. She also learned by watching her mother Ann Richards transform from a housewife to a feminist icon.
The book includes what Richards learned from her mother’s historic win in the Texas governor’s race, along with the pitfalls of public life that are unique to women. All this, plus the lessons you can only learn when campaigning across Texas for your mother while pregnant with twins and with a toddler in tow.
Richards writes about her experience as deputy chief of staff to Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and the truth about what it’s like to be a woman in the halls of power, why she almost didn’t go to the job interview for the role of president of Planned Parenthood and how her previous experience founding two nonprofit startups prepared her to take the leap.
She chronicles how she led an organization under siege from fake news attacks and endured hostile questioning during a congressional hearing lasting five hours. She notes the resilience of women and men across the country who face the threat of violence when working to protect women’s rights.
The book reveals her strange and alarming meeting with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner during the early days of the Trump administration, as well as reflections on campaigning for Hillary Clinton. It explores why the resistance is female, and “feminist” can no longer be a passive label. “Make Trouble” is an honest, impassioned and moving memoir that will inspire readers to hope and action.
Richards is a national leader for women’s rights and social and economic justice. As President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and
Planned Parenthood Action Fund for more than a decade, Richards has worked to increase affordable access to reproductive health care and to build a healthier and safer world for women and young people.
After starting her career as a labor organizer, working with women earning the minimum wage, she went on to start her own grassroots organizations and later served as deputy chief of staff to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2011 and 2012, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Richards is a frequent speaker and commentator on politics and progressive issues. She and her husband Kirk Adams have three children and live in New York City and Maine.