Recognizing the stories of remarkable women pioneers, known and untold

Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 7, 2012

(ARA) – America has seen women emerge as inspiring national figures including female Supreme Court justices, speakers of the house, CEOs, trailblazing athletes, activists, entertainers and leaders of their communities, over the past 50 years. Women have sparked change through their vision, determination, courage and ingenuity, and their contributions have had a profound influence on the world.

Founded by Emmy Award winning filmmaker Dyllan McGee, MAKERS is a multi-platform video experience presented by AOL and PBS in partnership with Unilever’s new Simple facial skincare brand. The experience showcases hundreds of powerful stories of women who have broken ground, been firsts in their fields and paved the way for future generations.

These remarkable stories, told by the women themselves, can be seen exclusively at In early 2013, PBS will air the follow-up documentary, MAKERS: Women Who Make America.

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In addition to high-profile role models such as Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg, this initiative recognizes innovative women like Robyn Beavers, a sustainability pioneer who uses her civil engineering degree to promote solar, wind and water power both nationally and internationally in countries without reliable sources of electricity, and groundbreakers like Brenda Berkman, one of New York City’s first female firefighters who stood her ground in the wake of a sexual discrimination lawsuit, even when her safety was threatened. She retired as captain after 24 years on the job in 2006.

“I’m so happy that we’re finally hearing the stories and voices of women who make America,” shares Gloria Steinem, a leading feminist activist. “We do what we see, not what we’re told, so an incomplete story of this country damages everyone. MAKERS will not only change our picture of the present, but release talent for the future.”

In that spirit, a nationwide search has been launched to find and recognize six extraordinary women in local communities nationwide. These women will ultimately be chosen as the “Next MAKERS” and will receive a $10,000 grant from Simple so they can continue to follow their dreams and do great work in their communities. In addition to the grant, the women will also travel to New York City to attend a dinner and film their own stories.

“We’re encouraging people to take action today by nominating an extraordinary woman who has had a positive impact on her community and whose efforts have helped change the American culture by influencing the lives of women,” notes Maureen Sullivan, senior vice president and general manager of Women’s Content and Lifestyle Brands at AOL.

Applicants are encouraged to nominate themselves or a woman they feel deserves this recognition at or Entries will be accepted through Sept. 27.