Earlier this month, our co-founder Jen Jones had the honor of accompanying WYSK Loren Raye to the red carpet premiere of MAKERS Women Who Make America. It was a truly inspiring night as the room was packed with countless luminaries featured in the film… women groundbreakers and pioneers who have transformed America over the last 50 years. The film makes its broadcast debut on PBS tomorrow, February 26 at 8PM (EST), and having seen hour 1 and a preview of hour 3, Jen tells us it is, “mind broadening and should be required viewing for women, girls, anyone and everyone!”
Narrated by Meryl Streep, the film tells the story of how women in the modern women’s movement have helped shape America over the last half century through one of the most sweeping social revolutions in our country’s history, in pursuit of their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity and personal autonomy.
It recounts the seminal events (from the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963 to the Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991), tells the surprising and unknown stories of women who broke down barriers in their own chosen fields, and takes the story to today, when a new generation is both defending and confronting the reality of their mothers’ legacy.
The film showcases the stories and first-person, intimate accounts of the women who were there leading the fight, those who opposed it, and the unintentional trailblazers – famous and unknown – who carried change to every corner of society. It features movement leaders like Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf; opponents like Phyllis Schlafly and Beverly LaHaye; famous faces like Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric and Hillary Clinton; and the many “ordinary” women confronted with what equality meant in their own lives.
In the beginning of the film’s third hour, you’ll see a familiar WYSK face, retired FDNY Captain Brenda Berkman. Brenda was the very first woman to be featured as part of our Women You Should Know original series of exclusive, story telling video profiles that have come to be known as WYSKumentaries. She made her historic WYSK debut on September 7, 2011, which was the day our site launched.
It’s only fitting that Brenda’s monumental, game changing contribution to society – bravely driving and winning one of the most influential lawsuits in the history of the US fire service – was also documented by the MAKERS video initiative and highlighted as part of their epic film.
As champions of inspiring one another by telling the untold stories of everyday women, what WYSK loves about the MAKERS documentary is that it teaches a critical women’s history lesson; one that most of us (especially those not old enough to have lived through any of the pivotal moments, set-backs and triumphs) were sadly never taught in school.
Women You Should Know would like to thank MAKERS Founder & Executive Producer Dyllan McGee and her partner Peter Kunhardt for making such an important film for women, for history and for future generations to come.