Doctoral student Clementine Bordeaux, a Lakota woman, tells the story of Ella Deloria, a brilliant Dakota ethnographer, educator, and linguist who had the vision not only to gather oral histories, myths, languages and evidence of her people’s culture before they were lost forever, but to tell their story from their own perspective. The books Ella Deloria wrote, Speaking of Indians and especially Water Lily, affected Clementine as a young girl on the Pine Ridge Reservation and sent her on her own life path. Among other things, the books teach “what it means to be a woman” and how to “keep the rules of kinship” with all people, including yourself. Powerful and relevant messages. Please watch the story of this visionary Native scholar who was far ahead of her time.
Nancy Hanks had a mission– “to make sure every American had access to the arts.” It was her life’s work and she permanently changed the landscape of arts in America, inspiring generations. As a Southern woman lobbying in DC politics in the 1960’s and ’70’s, she had her work cut out for her, but she persisted and grew the National Endowment for the Arts to 14 times its size when she took over. Thank you, Nancy! Martha Richards (another persistent woman dedicated to lifting the arts!) tells the story. Heard of the ART Train? Check out the video!
Mary Edwards Walker, one of the first female doctors in America and the only woman to win the Medal of Honor, served in the military during the Civil War despite relentless efforts to stop her. This independent firebrand had other ideas. Mary followed her own path with tenacity, courage and an extremely modern sense of how to be a woman. For starters, she wore pants to her wedding and deleted the word “obey” from her vows. (In the 19th century!) Dee Johnson tells us the charming and crucial story of this original American patriot, a “pants girl” and a true inspiration.
Pilot Jackie Cochran broke every aviation record she could find, speed, altitude, you-name-it. Jackie was a wit and a powerful personality, soaring from the humblest of beginnings to the upper echelons of American society and politics. Emmy Award winning writer/director Jane Anderson tells the story of the complicated soul of Jackie Cochran, a take-no-prisoners woman who busted through every barrier in her way but in the end of her life erected barriers for other women. A thrilling woman, a cautionary tale.
Estelita “Esty” Juco was a budding debutante in Manila when she was injured by a bomb in the final days of WWII, disabling her for life. Undeterred, this brilliant young woman went on to become a street parliamentarian and a justice-seeking journalist, protesting dictatorship and martial law. Esty Juco is a legend in the Philippines, a bold activist, a lifelong educator, and ultimately a legislator in the first post-dictatorship Congress, representing women and the disabled. Cora Oriel tells us the story of her brave, witty teacher and mentor, Esty Juco.
Mary Pacifico Curtis tells us the story of Gitta Ryle a child survivor of the Holocaust who found her purpose after a long life of struggle and anxiety. Gitta visits dozens of schools each year telling the story of the Holocaust and encouraging children toward peace and making the world a better place. Personally, Mary benefited from Gitta’s wisdom and friendship to understand there can be life after profound loss. Gitta’s hard-earned message: we must keep rising to meet the new day.
Laurel Burch started with less than nothing and built a global brand expressing joy and beauty. As a teenager on her own in 1960’s San Francisco Laurel created original jewelry by hammering metal on the back of a frying pan. Despite poverty, single parenthood and chronic illness Laurel persisted to build a design empire still thriving more than a decade after her death. Laurel’s daughter Aarin tells the story of her remarkable mother.
CEO/President/Entrepreneur and all-around innovative leader Cynthia Cleveland tells us the story of the remarkable mother-daughter team who created the single most impactful personality test ever designed. Still used world-wide by both major corporations and individuals, The Myers-Briggs instrument makes Jung’s personality types understandable and useful in people’s lives. The idea came from the mother, Katharine Briggs, then the daughter, Isabel Briggs-Myers, built it into a reality… devising a tool that has lasted for decades, helping people understand who they are and how to work together. What type are you???
Deena Metzger has spent a lifetime investigating Story as a form of knowing and healing. She has taught and counseled for over fifty years, developing therapies (Healing Stories) which creatively address physical, spiritual and emotional crises, as well as environmental disintegration. Her longtime friend and collaborator, Naomi Newman, calls Deena a visionary and a prophet. Watch the video and witness for yourself — their deep, long and loving friendship is a testament to the gifts of Wise Women.
You’ve heard of Simon Bolivar, but have you heard of the bold Manuelita Saenz? Diana Burbano tells the story of this South American revolutionary, spy and soldier who fought to free her country from colonial power. An illegitimate mixed-race child raised by radical nuns, Manuelita refused to be oppressed by customs of the day, living life on her own terms. Fierce, romantic, cunning, unconstrained. A wild woman.