The League of Women Voters of Cape Cod Area is sponsoring a discussion, “In Other Words, Leadership: How a New England Governor and a Rural Mother Connected during COVID.”
The program features author Shannon Mullen, a screenwriter, playwright, podcast host and film producer, who will discuss her new book “In Other Words, Leadership,” highlighting the compelling correspondence of Maine Governor Janet Mills and a young rural mother who reached out to her during the first year of COVID.
The program will be held Friday, July 14, at the Olde Colonial Courthouse, 3046 Main St., Barnstable from 7 to 9 p.m.
As the first woman to serve as governor of Maine, Janet Mills had been in office a year when COVID-19 reached the U.S. The recently-widowed 72-year-old journaled there is “no playbook for a pandemic” as she imposed unprecedented restrictions on her state.
When early support for the governor’s response curdled to rampant opposition, a young mother—Ashirah Knapp—sent a letter of support from a remote homestead in the Maine woods. Her dispatch detailed how the public health emergency was upending her family’s life and livelihood, and she promised to keep writing every week to remind the governor how many Mainers supported her despite the disruption. Ashirah’s letters helped keep the governor grounded as she made wrenching, often unpopular choices.