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One evening this May, 150 guests came to the Delaney House to hear three acclaimed local authors share their amazing stories. Girls Inc. sponsored the event, called “Speaking Out for Women and Girls,” and the crowd was treated to remarks from Martha Ackmann, of Leverett, whose book, The Mercury 13: The True Story of 13 Women and the Dream of Space Flight is soon to be an Amazon mini-series; Lesléa Newman, of Holyoke, the author of 70 works for adults and children including the groundbreaking children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies; and Rachel Simmons, of Northampton, the author of The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Girls with Courage and Confidence. 

The evening’s host was Janine Fondon (also an author in her own right), of East Longmeadow, who is the president and CEO of  UnityFirst and the chair of the undergraduate communications department at Bay Path University. Debra Vega served as benefit chair and Eileen Fisher, the clothing retailer and philanthropist, was the Champions for Girls honorary chair.  

These extraordinary women spoke about their own journeys, the obstacles they met along the way—and their thoughts about the social movements that have got us all talking, from #MeToo to the 2018 Women’s March. It was a wonderful, thought-provoking evening.