MAKERS: Why Our Latest Inspiration Should Be On Your Radar

What is MAKERS One of the wonderful things about being a modern woman is that so many paths have already been paved. We are not walking in a strange new world, overcoming great odds strictly based on our gender. Granted, we still have (a lot of) work to do when it comes to equality, but so many women before us have gone where we want to go, which makes all of this a lot less scary. And that’s what makes MAKERS such an interesting project.

The brainchild of filmmakers Dyllan McGee, Betsy West and Peter Kunhardt, MAKERS is developed by AOL and showcases “hundreds of compelling stories from women of today and tomorrow,” according to the site. Billed as an “historic video initiative,” MAKERS features profiles of women who have made various contributions throughout their lives and is a way to preserve their stories—as well as inspire viewers to blaze their own trails as they pursue what they love.

Some of these women are very familiar, and some are new to us. And some, like Jennifer Siebel Newsom, we hope you’ve already read about here. All have one thing in common: they’ve all blazed trails in distinct and impactful ways.

The MAKERS documentary will air on PBS in early 2013, but for now, you can peruse the lives of the women featured when you browse the Makers page. A word of warning? It’s easy to get lost for hours in the details of these fascinating lives. A very short list includes Marlo Thomas, the first woman portrayed as a single person on television and the creator of “Free to Be…You and Me“; Judy Blume, beloved & groundbreaking author; and Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon—when women weren’t allowed to participate.

While it’s certainly possible to get wrapped up in the MAKERS videos, the accompanying blog should not be overlooked. The MAKERS blog features accounts of women who took a stand against cultural norms, feminists, politicians and women in STEM. It also provides commentary on a variety of issues, such as the anniversary of Title IX and measuring social change in various countries. Not only will you feel informed after reading some of the MAKERS blog posts, but we have no doubt you’ll feel inspired, too.

Women have come a long way. And although we still have work to do and new paths to forge, it’s gratifying to see the work that’s already been done—and know that so many women are passionate about making a difference. MAKERS is an incredible archive and resource of the pioneers that set the stage for the strides we’ve made today, and if the blog and short films are this inspiring, we have no doubt the documentary will blow us away.

Image via MAKERS

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