Smarita Sengupta, a quiet, business-minded young woman from India decided to do something about sex trafficking and created Destiny Foundation/Reflection. Tanya Monsef Bunger, Board Chair for Global Women’s Leadership Network, tells the story of her friend Smarita’s courage and persistence in the face of great odds, as well as the brilliance of Smarita’s economic ideas about what to do to bring women out of this modern-day slavery.
“Courage is contagious.” TED star Brené Brown has spent decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, giving us insight to a healthier, more joyful life. Screenwriter Brittany Ashley takes us on her own personal journey learning from Brené.
Meet serpentine dancer Loie Fuller! She pioneered modern dance using fabric, cutting-edge lighting technology and her own genius to revolutionize dance. Choreographer Deb Slater tells us about Loie’s lasting impact.
The shocking story of Phoolan Devi, the Bandit Queen, who started as an abused child bride, became a notorious criminal fugitive and eventually was elected to India’s Parliament. Though she was assassinated in 2001 the legend of the Bandit Queen lives on. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Neetu Badhan-Smith, tells the story of this powerful female avenger. Be advised, video includes mention of sexual assault.
Madam C.J. Walker was born into slavery as Sarah Breedlove, but became the first self-made female millionaire in the US, creating a beauty empire that helped African-American women celebrate their natural beauty. Using her influence to push for anti-lynching laws before the Civil Rights Movement, she also became a model entrepreneur. Listen to writer Wendy Calhoun tell Madam C.J.’s story.
This month we’re proud to offer this interview with the beautiful and brilliant poet Jane Hirshfield. I met Jane through the Philosophical Club in San Francisco, a meeting place for artists and scientists convened by Lucia Jacobs (both artist and scientist). I am always impressed with Jane’s comments at these gatherings— both scholarly and humanist, an irresistible combination. I know you will enjoy her insightful interview and I hope it will inspire you to read Jane’s work as well as that of her subject, Ono no Komachi. We have so much to learn from the women who came before us. From Komachi: Wash the cheater’s book and his lies will fade away…
Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Jane Hirshfield tells us about ancient Japanese poet Ono no Komachi, a woman whose work feels so contemporary that it speaks to Jane as if it is her own experience. Komachi is one of the very few women in the Japanese Thirty-Six Immortals of Poetry. She wrote brilliantly with a mastery of language that made her a legend in her own time… and for the next two millennia. Jane Hirshfield brings to life the work of this astonishing woman.
Last weekend’s powerful #OurLivesMatter marches and speeches remind us all of the determination of young activists. Our latest video spotlights another young activist— six year old Ruby Bridges who stood up to virulent racism and persevered. Actor/writer Reneé Threatte recounts the emotional story of this little girl who integrated a New Orleans elementary school in the midst of hatred and violence. Renée opens up about what Ruby’s story means to her and what we can all learn from this child’s courage.
And, we are delighted to announce we reached 97% of our goal this past weekend! Thank you to EVERYONE who donated. Your support means so much to us as it allows us to continue to tell these amazing stories. We’re extending the fundraiser for a few days because donations are still coming in and we are certain to reach 100% of the goal soon.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a bisexual Mexican nun, writer, inventor and more who became controversial for her 17th Century feminism. Playwright Jesse Bliss tells Sor Juana’s story and explains why it gives her hope for women today.
If you like the video, please DONATE to help us bring you more powerful stories.
Dr. Christine Darden started as a “human computer” at NASA, fighting sexism and racism to advance as a leader, building a 40-year career there. Hear influencer and New York Times best-seller Gaby Dunn tell Darden’s story, reminding us what can happen when you advocate for yourself.
And we are almost to 50% of our fundraising goal! Don’t forget to hit the DONATE button at the top of the page.
I’m delighted to share a new interview with the formidable Joan Blades (co-founder of MoveOn.org, Moms Rising and Living Room Conversations — her recent TED Talk is nearing a million views!) Joan tells us about Dr. Arlene Blum, a scientist/mountaineer who led the first team of American women to scale Annapurna AND discovered the carcinogen in kids’ pajamas. Arlene continues to work to rid our world of toxins with The Green Policy Institute. Both of these women are really rather amazing and I think you’ll be inspired to hear Joan talk about her good friend Arlene.
We’ve also launched our NEW WEBSITE where you can search our growing library of videos as well as our database of Astonishing Women. You can search for women artists, scientists, activists, journalists, etc. We’re continuing to grow our archive this year with shoots in Los Angeles, Washington DC and New York City.
Look What SHE Did! was filmed as part of the Los Angeles Women’s March last weekend and we’re still flying high from the experience. We marched, chanted, carried signs and listened. The speeches were powerful. The message of the moment:
Let women speak.
Let them speak in their own ways, about things that matter to them. It’s an exciting time for women, for speaking truth and being heard, for addressing inequities we’ve all lived with for so long. And it’s an exciting time for our small non-profit. We’re proud to be part of this movement by telling stories of women who need to be recognized, women who’ve overcome obstacles like misogyny, harassment, abuse, poverty, lack of education and all the rest. Our videos encourage and inspire, reminding viewers of the power they have to make a difference, wherever they are, to make life better for all of us.
– Julie and the Look What SHE Did! team