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USC Sponsors Virtual Panel on Heroic Female Cop's Memoir

Fanchon Blake's class action discrimination lawsuit changed the face of policing and workplaces around the county. On what would have been her 100th birthday, a panel of female law enforcement veterans join her coauthor to discuss women and policing.

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 11, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Next week, on May 15th, the USC Department of Public Safety, the USC Safe Communities Institute, the LAPD Museum and the Los Angeles Women Police Officers & Associates (LAWPOA) are sponsoring a live online panel discussion based on Busting the Brass Ceiling: How a Heroic Female Cop Changed the Face of Policing. The event will focus on the memoir's co-author, Fanchon Blake, whose class action lawsuit against the LAPD impacted police departments and workplaces around the country.

Fanchon dreamed of becoming a top cop. In 1948, she joined the LAPD, sure her efforts and talent would be rewarded. Instead, despite long hours and high achievement ratings, she was not allowed to promote. When all efforts failed to thwart the department's increasingly anti-female agenda, she realized that someone would need to take them to court. That someone might as well be her.

She knew she would pay the price for betraying the code of loyalty. Still, she filed a legal complaint against her department, thereby initiating one of the country's landmark discrimination cases—which was eventually broadened to include minorities—with little to no help from anyone.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 15—on what would have been Fanchon's 100th birthday—her story and her book will take center stage. Moderated by veteran news anchor Christine Devine, the online panel will consist of four women:
Margaret "Peggy" A. York, retired Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department (the first woman to attain that rank in the LAPD) and retired Chief of the Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety
Ann E. Young, retired Captain, Los Angeles Police Department (the first Black American female to attain that rank in the LAPD) and current professor in the criminal justice department at California State University Dominguez Hills and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Ruby Flores, Commander, Los Angeles Police Department (recently selected as the LAPD's first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer) and president of the Los Angeles Women Police Officers and Associates
Linden Gross, Busting the Brass Ceiling coauthor

The virtual event, which you can register for at, will also include short video clips of Fanchon at age 90, five years before her death.

"Fanchon Blake has been a hero of mine for many years," writes Joseph Wambaugh, a former LAPD detective sergeant and the bestselling author of police and crime books, who penned Busting the Brass Ceiling's foreword. "The class action [she] spearheaded helped end institutionalized sexual and racial discrimination practices not just in the LAPD, but law enforcement in general. Because of the precedent it set in civil rights law, Fanchon's crusade for women's rights has impacted—and improved—workplaces across the country. We owe her our respect and our gratitude."

Busting the Brass Ceiling: How a Heroic Cop Changed the Face of Policing by Fanchon Blake and Linden Gross (Incubation Press, 2020) is available online and in stores. To learn more about the book or to connect with Linden Gross, please visit

LINDEN GROSS, the coauthor of Fanchon Blake's memoir Busting the Brass Ceiling, is a bestselling writer. She ghostwrote Julia "Butterfly" Hill's New York Times bestseller The Legacy of Luna. Gross is also the writer behind Kathryn and Craig Hall's national bestseller, A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st-Century Winery. Gross has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten an additional eight books, including Ms. Cahill for Congress and Surviving a Stalker.

Gross also functions as a writing coach and an editor, helping other people to write their nonfiction books and novels, several of which have gone on to become bestsellers. Then she helps them self-publish their books through Incubation Press, a subsidiary of her One Stop Writing Shop.

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