Girl Forward

Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist in Liberia. She led a women's movement that was pivotal in ending the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003, and now speaks on behalf of women and girls around the world.

In 2011, she (along with two other women) won the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership efforts and peaceful protests.

The Boston Marathon was exclusive to men until 1972. But in 1967 a woman, Kathrine Switzer, entered and ran the marathon, making history as the race director attempted to pull her off the course, all in view of the media truck.  

Ms. Switzer is credited as one of the pioneers of women's distance running, and in breaking apart many of the long-held myths about women's athletics.

Leymah Gbowee

In the novel, Japlo and Yeni are helped to find community and support through the fictional organization "GoForward". This refugee assistance organization is based on the very real and essential Chicago refugee service, Girl Forward. Please learn more, support more, and help these young ladies live more!


GirlForward empowers refugee girls because through girls, we can strengthen entire communities. While GirlForward girls come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, our programs are designed to meet each girl’s unique needs. GirlForward serves refugee girls ages 12-21 who have been resettled in Chicago from war-torn countries around the world, and who are now building new lives for themselves and their families in the United States.  ~ GirlForward.Org

Kathrine Switzer

With Grace Under Pressure Book And Ebook

With Grace Under Pressure

This Much Is True