50 women…from the headliners to the lesser-known gems.
Five years ago Chick History embarked on its first independent programming, a 50-episode podcast called The #HerStoryPodcast. Over the course of 2012, I interviewed 50 contemporary women via Skype and asked them to share the story of the historical woman who inspired them.
The idea was simple. I asked the same three questions to every participant and gave them complete control to tell the history any way they wanted. They chose the historical woman. They chose what aspects of her life to share. They got to decide how to tell history. I am forever grateful and inspired by the 50 women who participated in this project.
There is someone in history for all of us
The #HerStoryPodcast spans 2,000 years of women’s history, from the daughter of Cleopatra the Great to a Kenyan Environmental Activist. Participants include the great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, Nashville Metro Councilwoman Nancy VanReece, and AAUW Vice President of Fellowships and Grants Gloria Blackwell.
Since its release in 2012, the podcast has been downloaded over 30,000 times. It was syndicated by SheHeroes in 2016. It was featured as a case study in the recently released publication Positioning Your Museum as a Critical Community Asset. Singer/songwriter Cathy Grier, who did HerStory #33: Edna St. Vincent Millay, wrote an original theme song for the project. Also known as the New York City Subway Girl, here she is performing Her Story Not Forgotten.
5 Facts about the #HerStory Podcast
- It was originally meant to be 52, one for every week, but scheduling conflicts brought it down to 50.
- You can hear my then four-month-old son gurgling as he wakes up from a nap in the background of #HerStory 50: Maria Montessori. He is five now.
- Every woman I asked to participate said yes, nobody said no.
- Only one historical woman was selected twice, Frida Kahlo. Tonantzin Warmoth picked her first, so got to do her for #HerStory 6. The other woman used her second pick: HerStory #16: Mary Pickford
- I never got to do an episode…but I would have picked Anne of Cleves.
Celebrating the #HerStory Podcast
To celebrate the #HerStoryPodcast’s 5th Anniversary, we will be doing a 50-Day social media campaign over our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts featuring these amazing historical woman and the inspiring contemporary women who shared their stories with us. You can also subscribe to the podcast here.
Somewhere in these stories, I hope you find a connection with one of these historical women. That she speaks to you on a personal level through her story, and you find something of what you have done, what you are doing, or what you have thought you might try in your own life.