Friday, December 19, 2014

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Women's History Month: Website Profiles Successful Modern Women

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As NY1 celebrates Women's History Month with a look at some modern women making their mark and inspiring others to do the same, NY1's Jeanine Ramirez takes a look at two women are documenting the accomplishments of these women for future generations on their website.

Among the first responders on September 11, 2001 were more than two dozen women. And as the 10th anniversary of the attacks approached, Jen Jones and Cynthia Hornig decided it was time for those women's stories to be told.

"We wanted to create a resource where women could be inspired, somewhere where women could find each other, share stories with one another and really take something away from each other," Jones said.

Jones and Hornig launched a website called "Women You Should Know". Their first profile was Brenda Berkman, a former FDNY captain who responded on September 11, 2001. She was one the city's first female firefighters and the lead plaintiff in the fight to allow women into the fire department.

"I was tired of being told, 'You can't do that because you're a girl,'" Berkman said.

New stories are posted every day. Some feature video profiles.

"By telling their stories, we have an incredible opportunity to inspire other women," Jones said. "So we consider our site sort of a modern archive for modern women."

"We have women featured from Ireland, from Africa, from India," Hornig said. "But as we are New Yorkers, we do feature a lot of New Yorkers on the site as well, women who are doing great things that have a large impact."

There's Brooklynite Jessica Morris, the executive director of the nonprofit group Girls Be Heard. It empowers girls to find their own voice by writing and performing their own work. Much of it includes socially conscious issues affecting women worldwide.

"I think I've always been passionate about gender equity," Morris said.

There's also local radio producer Loren Raye, who showcases women on the Z100 morning show.

"Every day, on the show, twice a day, I highlight girls that I think are doing really cool things," Raye said.

There's lots of cool style at the website's office, including an accent pillow that reads "Well behaved women rarely make history" and a ruler with a list of some great women rulers.

The founders said they're always looking for ordinary women doing the extraordinary. There's a page to submit nominations.

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