“Speaking Out: For Women and Girls” was like the Girls Inc. version of TV’s The View, where remarkable women share enlightened conversation. The theme for this year’s event was “#GirlsToo: Respect Starts Young.” This is a national Girls Inc. campaign which adds girls’ voices to the #MeToo conversation about sexual harassment. 

Held before 200 guests at the Delaney House in Holyoke, in January, the event was co-chaired by Debra Vega and Dave DelVecchio and moderated enthusiastically by Victoria Ann Rodriguez, of MassMutual. It featured three dynamic local authors: Dr. Latoya Bosworth, Magdalena Gómez and Crystal Senter-Brown.

Bosworth, of Chicopee, is an educator, author, motivational speaker and consultant. Her latest book is The Right Amount of Sunshine: Cultivating Little Girls into Young Ladies. Gómez, of Springfield, is an award-winning performance poet, playwright, performer and keynote speaker. Her plays have been performed everywhere from Off-Broadway to the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, and she’s the author of the poetry collection Shameless Woman. Senter-Brown, of Chicopee, is the Director of Employer Relations at Bay Path University, and an educator and author. She has written seven books, including The Rhythm in Blue, which has been turned into a film.  

Each speaker was so engaging, and the insights just kept coming. What an inspiring evening!