Author Lanier Isom is a part-time Mentone resident who co-wrote Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond with Lily Ledbetter.
Lilly was born in the small town of Possum Trot, Alabama, into a home without running water and electricity. She eventually secured a position in management at the Goodyear plant in Gadsden, one of the first women to be hired at this level. No matter how well she performed in her position, though, Lilly faced daily sexual harassment and pranks, and an unconcealed reluctance to work alongside (or below) a woman.
Lilly pressed onward, believing that eventually things would change, that her hard work and high performance would make a difference. Instead, the more she achieved, the worse she was treated.
Nearly 20 years after her first day at Goodyear, she received an anonymous note in her mailbox that revealed she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position. She filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear and won—and then lost on appeal.
Incredibly, her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where she lost again: the court ruled that she should have filed suit within 180 days of her first unequal pay check—despite the fact that she had no way of knowing that she was being paid unfairly all those years. In a dramatic moment, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg read her dissent from the bench, urging Lilly to fight back. And fight Lilly did, becoming the namesake of President Obama’s first official piece of legislation: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act.
Lanier Isom will speak at Moon Lake Community Library on Monday, July 22, at 6:30 p.m. about her experience writing this important book, and about her life as a writer. (She's currently over 200 pages into writing a memoir.) This program is free and open to all ages. Light refreshments will be served. The library is located at 4607 AL Highway 117 in Mentone.