Cecile Richards has been an activist since she was taken to the principal’s office in seventh grade for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. Richards had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, where her civil rights attorney father and activist mother taught their kids to be troublemakers. In the Richards household, the “dinner table was never for eating—it was for sorting precinct lists.”
From the time Richards was a girl, she had a front-row seat to observe the rise of women in American politics. She watched her mother, Ann, transform from a housewife to an electrifying force in the Democratic party who made a name for herself as the straight-talking, truth-telling governor of Texas. But Richards also witnessed the pitfalls of public life that are unique to women. Her experiences paint a powerful portrait of the misogyny, sexism, fake news, and even the threat of violence confronting those who challenge authority.
As a young woman, Richards worked as a labor organizer alongside women earning minimum wage, and learned that those in power don’t give it up without a fight. Now, after years of advocacy, resistance, and progressive leadership, she shares her story for the first time— from the joy and heartbreak of activism to the challenges of raising kids, having a life, and making change, all at the same time.
In this powerful and compelling program, Richards shines a light on the people and lessons that have gotten her through good times and bad, and encourages audiences to take risks, make mistakes, and make trouble along the way.
Cecile Richard's new book is an instant New York Times bestseller
Cecile Richard's new book “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead,” is an instant New York Times and Amazon Bestseller earning stellar reviews. A powerful story about learning to lead and making change, Make Trouble draws on Richard's decade of experience at the helm of Planned Parenthood, work as "heroine of the resistance" (Vogue), and lifetime dedication to fighting for women's rights and social justice. From watching her mother, Ann Richards, tranforms from a housewife to an electrifying force in the Democratic Party to her time working as a labor organizer alongside women earning minimum wage, Make Trouble is filled with Richard's empowering experiences and lessons on taking risks, making mistakes, and making trouble along the way. The book's reviews speak for themselves: “Cecile Richards’s story is powerful and infinitely readable. Whether you are newly ‘woke,’ a longtime activist, or just a caring citizen wondering how to advance democracy in hard times, Make Trouble has the answers... She is the best teacher on earth—someone you trust” (Women's Rights Icon Gloria Steinem);"With insight and humor, Cecile Richards offers a call to action for aspiring organizers and leaders. A must-read for anyone hoping to make a difference and trying to figure out where to start" (Senator Kamala Harris). In the wake of the book's release, Richards is making headlines and in-demand by major media outlets such as CBS’ This Morning, NPR, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and Morning Joe, Business Insider’s podcast, and more, for her insights and sharp commentary on leadership, women’s rights and politics.
Cecile Richards is a national leader for women’s rights and social and economic justice, and the author of New York Times bestseller Make Trouble. As President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund for 12 years, Richards 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.