The Book Cellar
Join The Book Cellar for a FREE virtual event celebrating the launch of Brenda Myers-Powell's new book, Leaving Breezy Street, in conversation with Kaethe Morris Hoffer. We are honored to be hosting this incredibly important discussion and highy encourage our readers to tune in for what's sure to be an inspriring evening!
"This page-turner impresses from start to finish." - Publishers Weekly
"Brenda Meyers-Powell's story is testament that there are, indeed, second acts in life. Her journey as told in Leaving Breezy Street is remarkable, if not chilling, as she faces a cascade of violence and betrayal, mostly at the hands of men. But astonishingly she never loses her verve or her humor, and emerges on the other side not only intact but as an inspiration."
--Alex Kotlowitz, author of An American Summer, winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize
Event is free, but pre-registration is required. Please e-mail email@example.com with the subject line "Brenda Myers-Powell RSVP" to reserve your spot.
About Leaving Breezy Street: Fourteen years old, poor, Black, mother dead, two babies to feed and clothe, and a grandmother who is not full of motherly kindness, to put it mildly. What money-making options are open to a girl like Brenda Myers?
When Breezy, as she came to call herself, hit the streets of Chicago as a prostitute in 1973 she was barely a teenager. But she was pretty and funny as hell, and determined to support her daughters and make a living. For the next twenty-five years, she moved across the country, finding new pimps, parties, drugs, and endless, profound heartache. And she also--astonishingly--managed to find the strength to break from a brutal world and not only save herself but save future Breezys.
Great, compelling memoirs can bring us into worlds that have been beyond our comprehension and make us "get it." What these books tell us is NOT that we can all move beyond the lives into which we were born. The lesson is that everyone deserves to be truly seen by others and offered a path forward.
About Brenda Myers-Powell: Brenda Myers-Powell has been advocating for victims of sex trafficking since 1997. She is the co-founder and executive director of the Dreamcatcher Foundation, and has sat on the board of numerous organizations. In 2020, she was selected to serve on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Brenda's work with Dreamcatcher and victims was the focus of the Sundance Award-winning documentary Dreamcatcher.
About Kaethe Morris Hoffer: Kaethe Morris Hoffer is the Executive Director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), a legal services, prevention, and policy reform organization serving survivors and working to eradicate sexual assault and prostitution. Kaethe is an attorney and first joined CAASE in 2009, when a legal services and policy advocacy not-for-profit that she founded became part of CAASE. Kaethe has been working against sexual inequality and sex-based violence for more than twenty years, engaging in feminist advocacy and litigation in many venues.
About Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE): CAASE addresses the culture, institutions, and individuals that perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. Their work includes prevention, policy reform, community engagement, and legal services. CAASE envisions a community free from all forms of sexual exploitation, including sexual assault and the commercial sex trade. Social and institutional systems do not adequately serve survivors of sexual violation. Sexual violation disproportionately harms people from marginalized communities, including girls and women, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and immigrants and undocumented people. To best support survivors, CAASE confronts the inequities that fuel or intersect with sexual harm. CAASE welcomes and supports all survivors, regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Their dedication to this work is reflected in their values.
To learn more about the Dreamcatcher Foundation, visit their website at https://thedreamcatcherfoundation.org/
To learn more about CAASE, visit their website at https://www.caase.org/