Makers: Women Who Make America

(Rochester, New York) – Makers: Women Who Make America, a film that tells how women have helped shape America over the last 50 years, premieres Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). It shares the stories of how women have helped shape America over the last 50 years 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. Rochester's own Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, and the first African-American woman to run a Fortune 500 company is one of the many women featured. 

Narrated by three-time Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, Makers: Women Who Make America takes its cue from the Movement’s motto, “the personal is political,” delving into the personal lives of its subjects. The film is built from first-person, intimate accounts of women who experienced this time of change, including movement leaders such as author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; opponents like conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly; celebrities including media leader Oprah Winfrey and journalist Katie Couric; political figures like former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and many “ordinary” women who confronted the dramatic social upheaval in their own lives. 

Through the perspectives of those who lived through these historic milestones, Makers: Women Who Make America will recount the seminal events in the Women’s Movement, such as the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963, the battles to end discriminatory laws and practices over the following decade, and Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991. It will also go much further, telling the surprising and unknown stories of women who broke barriers in their own chosen fields — from the coal mines of West Virginia to the boardrooms of Madison Avenue. And it will take the story to today, when a new generation is both defending and questioning the legacy of their mothers.

The broadcast of Makers: Women Who Make America comes on the heels of the launch of earlier in 2012.  This landmark multiplatform video experience from PBS and AOL aims to become the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled. Leveraging the combined reach of television and the internet, the project shares the stories of exceptional women whose pioneering contributions continue to shape the world in which we live and the film will continue to chronicle the stories of women who led the fight, those who opposed it, and those — both famous and unknown — who were caught in its wake. The AOL-developed interactive video platform has become a source of inspiration for millions of people, having received more than 26.7 million video views to date. 

WXXI is hosting a free preview screening of Makers on Monday, February 11 at the Little Theatre. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and reception. The WXXI Listening Booth will also be at the screening to collect local Makers stories, providing community members the opportunity to come in and tell their stories about the exceptional women in their lives. WXXI also welcomes stories and photos submitted about exceptional local women that have made a difference. A web page dedicated to collecting these stories will be available soon.

Pictured: Xerox CEO Ursula Burns
Credit: Courtesy of Photo courtesy of MAKERS 





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