Women Who Lead

Elisa Lichtenbaum | February 27, 2018

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Gloria Steinem. Angela Davis. These are the bold-faced names of women who lead and influence American life. There are so many important achievements – spanning from historic to happening right now in New York City – by women whose names are not as well known. And in the case of equality for women and freedom from harassment, some stories are distressing to hear, but their telling is making a better, safer future for women.

For episodes on Tune in to THIRTEEN and online at thirteen.org/women to hear some of the compelling and lesser-known stories of women who have changed the course of history as we celebrate Women’s History Month.

Dolores Huerta


History tells us César Chávez transformed the U.S. labor movement by organizing migrant farmers into the first successful farm workers union, United Farm Workers (UFW). But often missing from this story is Dolores Huerta (b. 1930), who tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant — and unheralded – feminist activists of the 20th century.

Huerta continues to fight for justice today at age 87 and is the subject of the film Dolores (Tuesday, March 27, 9 p.m.), premiering on Independent Lens.

With unprecedented access to this intensely private mother of 11, Dolores chronicles Huerta’s life from her childhood in Stockton, California, to her work with the United Farm Workers, her role in the headline-making grape boycott launched in 1965 and the feminist movement of the 70s, as well as her activism today. Featuring interviews with Gloria Steinem, Luis Valdez, Hillary Clinton, Angela Davis, and others, the film is an intimate portrait of an indomitable woman willing to accept the personal sacrifices involved in committing one’s life to social change.

Wilma Mankiller


Mankiller (Saturday, March 24, 1 p.m.) profiles another remarkable heroine you may not read about in history books: Wilma Mankiller (1945 – 2010), who overcame obstacles ranging from poverty to sexism to become the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief in 1985. Archival footage and interviews with activists including Gloria Steinem reveal how Mankiller’s leadership enabled the Cherokee Nation to become one of the most economically and culturally successful tribes in America. Learn more.

#MeToo Women

Zainab Salbi, host of #MeToo, Now What?

#MeToo, Now What?, a new series hosted by Zainab Salbi, goes beyond the headlines about sexual harassment. Watch #MeTooOnPBS. Photo by Vikram Kacher.


#MeToo, Now What? (Fridays, February 2 – March 2, 8:30 p.m.), a new five-part series hosted by Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, follows the evolving history of women in the workplace and takes the national conversation about sexual harassment to a deeper level to encourage positive and lasting change. Watch #MeToo, Now What? episodes online.

American Masters: Inspiring Woman


In a new digital series that highlights women who are leading right now, American Masters introduces six trailblazing women based in New York City who are revolutionizing their industries and inspiring legions of women artists, entrepreneurs, and tech professionals in American Masters: Inspiring Woman.

Rakia Reynolds, founder and CEO of multimedia communications agency Skai Blue Media, talks about working with clients such as Serena Williams, breaking through as an entrepreneur, and embracing her identity as a black woman.

Brooklyn-based visual artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh – whose work is featured in Spike Lee’s new She’s Gotta Have It series – discusses “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” her international street art series that tackles gender-based street harassment. Fazlalizadeh was recently named one of four appointees to New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Public Artists in Residence program, which pairs artists with a city agency. In partnership with the NYC Commission on Human Rights, she will be working with New Yorkers facing discrimination, with a focus on women and girls.

The web series also spotlights BuzzFeed podcast host Tracy Clayton; Angie Mar, owner and executive chef of The Beatrice Inn in the West Village; JavaScript developer and Jewelbots co-founder Sara Chipps; and web-cam performance artist Molly Soda.

Women’s History Month

In addition to the above broadcasts during March, Women’s History Month, American Masters is offering these special encores on THIRTEEN: The Women’s List (Friday, March 2, 10 p.m.), Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl (Friday, March 16, 9 p.m.), Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution (Friday, March 23, 9 p.m.), and the streaming of Althea, the African American tennis champion and pioneer. Learn more about broadcasts and online content to view, as well as events in the city on our Women’s History Month page.