april 10, 2015

"April showers bring May flowers" is more than a meteorological prediction. It's a proverb about positive thinking.

This week, we're sharing the stories of 3 historic fighters + survivors.

These women turned tragedies into legacies. Their stories are not all sunshine + rainbows, but they do offer powerful reminders to "look for the gifts."


"Money can't make a man or woman. It isn't who you are,
nor what you have, but
what you are that counts."

Margaret Tobin Brown
the celebrity survivor

margaret brown_newsletter.jpg

{unforgettable | She gives...}

A Missouri shop girl + daughter of Irish immigrants who became the toast of Denver society when her husband struck it rich in the mining industry. A progressive reformer who used her celebrity to fight for the rights of women, children + workers.

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Margaret was the most famous survivor of the one of the 20th century's most notorious tragedies ~ the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. Already a darling of the press as a fresh + frank member of the nouveau riche, Margaret attracted sensational attention when she allegedly remarked upon her safe return to dry land ~ "Typical Brown luck. We're unsinkable."

The intrepid Margaret was a hero in the wake of the historic disaster, forming a philanthropic organization ~ the Titanic Survivors Committee ~ before she even made it back to port!

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Margaret's myth inspired the hit musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Her real story rivals the legend ~ she ran for US Senate before women had the vote, pioneered the country's juvenile court system and became an award-winning Shakespearean actor in her retirement.

Margaret's scrape with death did not leave her fearful. She was ready to take risks to live the life she wanted. As she put it ~ "I am a daughter of adventure. This means I never experience a dull moment and must be prepared for any eventuality. That's my arc, as the astrologers would say. It's a good one, too, for a person who had rather make a snap-out than a fade-out of life."

see more...about how Margaret met tragedy with grace + humor

"I've been told that nobody sings
the word 'hunger' like I do.
Or the word 'love.'"

Billie Holiday
the soulful self-made star

billie holiday_newsletter.jpg

{remarkable | She entertains...}

A hardscrabble kid who sang for her supper. A jazz superstar who rose to the top of a white-dominated music industry before her struggles with abuse and addiction ended her career too soon.

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Why did the legendary singer discover her talent in1929? Because she had to...Billie was imprisoned at 14 for prostitution. Upon release, she and her mom were faced with the same poverty that put them in the brothel in the first place. The hunger-stricken Billie told the owner of Harlem's Log Cabin Club she could dance. He didn't agree. But, when she sang an old standard, the whole room stopped what they were doing and started tipping.

Billie's signature vocal style secured her status as one of jazz's greatest artists. Critics doubt the truthfulness of her 1956 autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, but no one questions her voice of experience.

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April is Jazz Appreciation Month. And, this one marks the 100th anniversary of Billie's birth. What better time to celebrate Lady Day's legacy?

Billie never learned how to read music, but that didn't keep her from songwriter status. Besides being famous for improvisation, she also wrote lyrics like ~"To dream my dream could be my mistake But I'd rather be wrong And sleep right along than wake."

hear more...of Billie's singing + straight-talking

"I refuse to be called a victim.
I am not defined by
what happened in my life.
I am a survivor, defined by
how I live my life."

Adrianne Haslet-Davis
the bionic ballroom dancer


{notable | She overcomes...}

A pro dance instructor who lost her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing. A vocal healthcare advocate whose experience inspired her to step up as a change agent.

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On April 15, 2013, Adrianne was watching the Boston Marathon with her husband Major Adam Davis ~ who had just returned safely from military service in Afghanistan. The reunited couple was strolling down Boylston Street when two bombs went off. The explosion killed 3 people and injured 264. It left Adrianne an amputee.

Adrianne's life may have gone horribly wrong in a second's time, but her recovery process created a community of survivors and the opportunity to help others deal with tragedy. Determined to thrive, Adrianne immediately vowed to return to the dance floor. She did so less than a year later on the TED Talk stage ~ debuting prosthetic technology from MIT's biomechatronics lab.

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Adrianne bravely returned to the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon to cheer on her twin brothers.

She spoke at last year's remembrance ceremony. The epitome of #BostonStrong, Adrianne urged people to use the one-year anniversary as a day of action in support survivors all around the world ~ "Make every second count because—believe me—they do."

hear more...about Adrianne's heroism as a healthcare advocate

Fixing the
quote supply problem.
theme: overcome


We're looking for {sourced} quotes by women & girls that speak to overcoming.

Will you help us uncover the smart, funny,
thought-provoking things she has said on the subject? And, fix the quote supply problem?

It's easy to pitch in. Simply ~ login or register as member + start submitting!


We recently asked for quotes about children. Among our favorites:




Sharing quotes is a great way to inspire your
team + community ~ browse by childhood...

What's she saying now? Conversation starters on trending topics...

"It's an interesting connection, and interesting it would happen and already be printed and on her stamp."

~ Joan Walsh Anglund
the writer + editor   |   in response to having lines from her 1967 poetry collection A Cup of Sun wrongly attributed to the highly quotable {and often misquoted} Maya Angelou on a commemorative stamp recently issued by the US Postal Service

..."A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song" may not be Maya's words, but we have plenty of sourced quotes she actually did write + say here!

"I told her we could share it."

~ Breanna Stewart
the UConn basketball star + 3-time Women's Final Four MVP   |   giving props to the up-and-coming point guard Moriah Jefferson after their Huskies team won a third straight NCAA Championship title

"Go and do something because you love it."

~ Sarah Thomas
the pro football ref   |   following her historic hiring as the NFL's first full-time female official

~ ~ ~


We help you discover the ideas + stories of real women & girls.
And, easily share them.

To spark innovation. To create connections.
To bring balance to the world.

Quote fans...start your collection.

Survivors...discover stories worth sharing.

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