On the day of former President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin found herself in a front-row seat to history.
Brooke Baldwin on the inspiration behind her new book 'HUDDLE'April 9, 202107:58
“I was in the presidential motorcade, balancing on the back of this flatbed truck, as newly-elected President Trump's winding his way down Constitution Avenue and going to the White House for the first time,” Baldwin recalled in a “Morning Joe” interview Friday with co-host Mika Brzezinski. “And listen, I'll just be real with you: It was only very recent to that date when we learned where President Trump liked to grab women. And as a woman, as a journalist, I was standing there and I was troubled. I didn't know what the next four years was going to look like.”
Baldwin continued: “I had my own moment where I thought, ‘Would I have my own sisterhood or tribe or huddle who would have shown up with me and you know, shared a tank of gas in a car or hopped on a plane to show up and protest for whatever the cause may be?’”
Baldwin, who was reporting for the network on the Women’s March that January, came to a realization while she was surrounded by clusters of women on the National Mall. “I did not have a huddle. And so I knew then I needed to activate one and I wanted to inspire other women to do the same.”
Baldwin’s debut book, “HUDDLE: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power,” explores the power of the collective action undertaken by women in recent years, from headline-grabbing movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up to the record number of women running for elected office.
She features conversations with pioneers like Stacey Abrams, Madeleine Albright, Ava DuVernay, Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem alongside indigenous climate activists and teachers organizing to improve their working conditions.
Whether she’s highlighting the work of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in the fight for equal pay or the mothers lobbying for new laws around gun safety, the book focuses the everyday bonds that women can strengthen to achieve seismic change nationwide or life-changing power themselves.
Now that Baldwin’s activated her own huddle, sustaining its power through her upcoming career move is key.
"I am terrified but also excited about jumping into the unknown,” Baldwin told Brzezinski. “This is what I've been referring to as my backflip off the high dive.”
Baldwin announced in February that she would be leaving CNN this month after 13 years at the network. She’ll be leaning on her huddle to help her chart her next moves, to cope with uncertainty and to celebrate the excitement of what lies ahead.
“There is power in the huddle, because I have certainly leaned on the women in my life through this journey of not just writing the book, but walking away from this dream job,” she said.
Speaking to Brzezinski via video chat from her office with her two-decade long journalism career packed up into four boxes, Baldwin said she’s heard from many women who lost or left their jobs during the pandemic. “I just am cheering on every other woman who I've heard from who finds herself in similar shoes,” she said. “I see you and I'm on a journey.”
For Know Your Value founder Mika Brzezinski, a huddle was sorely missing early in her career.
“In my Know Your Value community, I talk a lot about how women are now seeing strength in numbers and really wanting to have that huddle, as opposed to maybe 20 [or] 30 years ago when I was starting my career,” she recalled.
Brzezinski encouraged Baldwin that she is anything but alone on taking the next step in her journey. “Let’s do that together,” Brzezinski said. “After your final day [at CNN], your huddle continues – Know Your Value is part of that huddle.”