Foreword Reviews


Power of Women Leading from the Heart

Like an inspirational daybook and resource for social and environmental change visionaries, Moonrise shines beams of hope on efforts to bring inner feminine qualities into conscious leadership—and illuminates what the result can look like. The book, compiled and edited by Nina Simons with Anneke Campbell, grew out of cutting-edge talks at Bioneers, an educational nonprofit cofounded by Simons and her husband, Kenny Ausubel.

Sharing stories of women rising to save what is being destroyed, Moonrise is a love song to passionate possibilities and a sourcebook for action steps to bring about positive change. Stories are arranged in five parts: “Our Inner Landscape,” “Leadership Sourced from Inner Authority,” “Reweaving the Web of Connection,” “Renegotiating Power,” and “Restoring the Feminine.”

Each story focuses on each leader’s deep commitments, contributions from the community in which the work is embedded, and how women’s leadership emerged to address challenges. Each essay opens with a brief personal introduction by Simons and closes with a biography and photo.

From the streets of Oakland, Lateefah Simon became, at age twenty, one of the youngest leaders of a nonprofit. “Girl Power for Social Justice,” details the training offered to homeless young women who work on the streets.

Gloria Flora, as US Forest Service steward, allowed community feelings and feedback—gifts of feminine perspective—to guide her landmark decision to prohibit oil and gas leasing on the Rocky Mountain front.

Artist Lily Yeh, profiled in “How Art Can Heal Broken Places,” has helped others create beauty in inner city North Philadelphia for nearly twenty years. For one participant, “This positive feedback was like raindrops to a parched heart, and piece by piece, his life began to be restored.”

Riki Ott, a modern-day Rachel Carson, witnessed the Valdez oil spill and took action in its aftermath in “Applying Science for Social Change.”

In “Embracing the Other,” Kate Kendell, LGBT activist, acknowledges, “[M]y mother was devoutly Mormon…and yet she was my most ardent champion.”

Janine Benyus, in “What Life Knows,” shares a new Google-esque project,, with a web page for every species on Earth. Many of our planet’s fellow travelers have adapted in ways we humans can learn from through biomimicry.

After reading thirty-seven rich, true perspectives, some may find the heartbreak and loss of our mistakes too much to bear. Yet, as women recognize, tears can soften unyielding ground. This compendium for change agents is highly recommended.

Reviewed by Bobbye Middendorf

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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