HarperOne and the Skoll Foundation Announce a Partnership to Publish co-branded Stories of Social ChangeOctober 22, 2012 by Sally Farhat Kassab
First book in partnership, about the life and work of Molly Melching
and TOSTAN, to be published in April 2013
October 19, 2012; San Francisco, CA—HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announces a partnership with the Skoll Foundation to publish co-branded narrative nonfiction books by Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurs—91 entrepreneurs in 74 organizations globally, that have proven they can change the world. HarperOne has been a leading publisher of books about personal and social change for 35 years, including more than 75 New York Times and national bestsellers in the last six years.
The books, by Skoll entrepreneurs in collaboration with leading writers, will tell dramatic first person stories about creating large-scale impact on the world’s most daunting problems. The debut title, However Long the Night: One American Woman’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph, tells the riveting tale of Molly Melching and her organization, Tostan.
Melching, a 2010 Skoll Awardee, was named as one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World” by Newsweek/Daily Beast in 2012. Since 1974 she has worked to bring an innovative, basic education program to thousands of rural villages in Africa, empowering communities to lead their own development.
Through the Tostan program, she has helped these villages address Female Genital Cutting (FGC)—a violation of human rights and a practice which up to three million girls are at risk of undergoing each year in Africa. Because of their work, over 6,000 communities have now publicly declared their abandonment of FGC. Tostan, which means “breakthrough” in the West African Wolof language, now operates in eight countries and twenty African languages and is applying its successful “community-led” social change to address a wide range of Africa’s most pressing issues.
However Long the Night, which tells the inspirational story of Melching’s journey from Midwest America to the villages of West Africa, will be written by acclaimed author Aimee Molloy and go on sale in April 2013. The next book, planned for 2014, will look at Founder and CEO of Half the Sky Jenny Bowen’s mission to help China re-imagine its approach to child welfare.
HarperOne brings their expertise in publishing bestselling, back-listing, award-winning narrative non-fiction by and about unique leaders in social, spiritual, and personal transformation. They will handle editorial, publicity, marketing, sales, and distribution. The Skoll Foundation will help source stories as well as leverage their unique brand and premier programs such as the Skoll World Forum to promote the books.
“We’re both humbled and thrilled to be working with the Skoll Foundation in this partnership, and can hardly wait for our first book to go on sale in April,” said Mark Tauber, Senior Vice President and Publisher of HarperOne. “These personal stories of struggle, doggedness, smarts, creativity, and triumph of today’s best and brightest agents of social change deserve to be told well and widely read. We believe that our partnership will help to do just that. These are real adventure stories that will inspire and help to create change today, and well into the future.”
President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, Sally Osberg said, “With this pioneering new series, readers will join amazing social entrepreneurs like Molly Melching, Jenny Bowen and others in their life-changing and world-transforming journeys. The women and men in the Skoll portfolio don’t just see what’s possible, they make it happen: transforming countless individual lives, communities, and entrenched realities in breathtaking ways. We’re privileged and proud to be joining with HarperOne to share these powerful stories of courage, change, and human possibility.”
Said Tostan founder Molly Melching, “I am so honored to be the first person featured in this new book series by HarperOne and the Skoll Foundation. It is an opportunity to tell a story about positive social transformation in Africa and introduce the incredible people I have met along the way—the women, men, and communities with whom we work. They inspire us every day.”