Though the stops Richards has made over the past few weeks have been to promote her book, she said they felt more like rallying events.
“Everywhere we’ve gone there have been huge crowds of all ages, many, many women, of course,” Richards said. “I think there’s real keen interest, not only in the book, but in ‘what does this moment mean?’”
Cari Boram, who used to work for Planned Parenthood, said she brought her daughter Lena Rella, age 10, to expose her to the work Richards is doing.
“I think it’s really important for us to be approaching this work from an intergenerational perspective, and Lena has always been interested in activism in general,” Boram said. “She wanted to be part of this, and sharing this with her has always been important to me.”
McIntyre’s Books General Manager and Events Organizer Keebe Fitch said they had an increased police presence in case of protesters. Though protesters attended previous stops Richards made on her book tour, no protesters showed up in Fearrington Village.
Richards has never been one to shy away from controversy. She recalled wearing a black armband to school in seventh grade to protest the Vietnam War, which landed her in the principal’s office.
“I was scared because I’m like ‘I’m getting called to the principal’s office,’ but in a way it was kind of exhilarating,” Richards said. “I think that really launched my troublemaking career.”
Before coming to Planned Parenthood in 2006, Richards was a labor organizer and helped her mother, Ann Richards, campaign to be Governor of Texas.
As president of Planned Parenthood, Richards is the organization’s most visible spokesperson. She testified before Congress in defense of Planned Parenthood in 2015 and spoke at the Women’s March on Washington. Richards announced in January that she will step down from her current position and will focus on getting women elected into office.
As for her own bid, Richards said she has no current plans to run for office, though she is not entirely opposed to the idea.
“I could run for office, but there’s also a lot of other things I could do, and that’s organize, train and support a whole new generation of leaders, so that’s really what I’m focused on,” Richards said. “But, you know, you never want to close the door on any kind of new opportunity.”