Introduction to We the Resilient



We asked the same group of extraordinary women who voiced such enthusiasm for electing a woman president: Where do we go from here? What can we learn from how the nation has weathered challenges in the past? And what’s your best advice for facing the future?

Who better to answer these essential questions than these strong and durable women, who have witnessed a century of turbulent history and endured? Who better to offer the wisdom and perspective so desperately needed now?


From a 100-year-old retired social worker from New Jersey: “I hope young people will come together and be activists to resist Trump and watch out that he doesn't get away with things. I also think it's very important for people to keep a sense of humor. It helps no matter how bad things get.”


From a 96-year-old retired teacher from Missouri: “This country needs people to stand up and be heard, not through violence or rage, but through faith and struggle.”


And from a 98-year-old from a small town in upstate New York: “No matter what happens, you must be tough, be strong, and go on. Be involved, be helpful, make a difference. You can’t let your feelings of fear overwhelm you. You must deal with life as it happens. You can’t be weak. You must fight for your rights.”


This book had its roots in the excitement of a historic moment. That moment didn’t transpire in the way many had hoped and dreamed it would. But disappointment is nothing new to these women. In their nine or ten decades of life, they have learned and grown from personal loss, communal crises, and national challenges. Our hope is that their wisdom, perspective, and grace can help the country—and all of us—follow the advice of Julia Cook, 101, from Pasadena, California: “Keep moving forward.”