20 Women Storytellers
Taking Action With Powerful
Words and Images
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As veteran broadcasters and journalists, we have witnessed the power of women storytellers, driven by their passion to make a difference with their words and photography.
In this collection from our interviews at The Women’s Eye, we spotlight twenty of these remarkable changemaking women storytellers including:
- CNN’s International Correspondent CLARISSA WARD , New York Times Journalist DIONNE SEARCEY and Combat Photographer HEIDI LEVINE who tell the human stories from the world’s most dangerous regions.
- RBG documentary filmmakers BETSY WEST and JULIE COHEN told the story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and how she worked to create equality for the genders.
- Director JESSICA YU discovered Ugandan journalist Gladys Kalibbaba rescuing lost and abandoned children in Uganda.
- News reporter LINDSEY SEAVERT documented how a principal was transforming a failing school and students’ lives through “Love First.”
- Writers LAURA MUNSON, LEE WOODRUFF, COKIE ROBERTS and photographers MIMO KHAIR and KAREN SHELL helped others heal, find solutions, and connect with our history through their art.
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“The women featured are all skilled storytellers who have made a difference in our world. The result is revealing and powerful. It’s a great read.”
Nancy Glass, Emmy-winning Executive Producer, Glass Entertainment Group
“20 Women Storytellers is one-stop shopping for women spotlighting
the truth while sharing their talent of the journalist’s pen,
the photographer’s eye or the documentarian’s lens.”
Samantha Harris, Emmy-winning TV Host and Author of Your Healthiest Healthy
“If you are passionate about leading, teaching, selling, entertaining,
reporting or causing change, storytelling can give you power.”
Paola Gianturco, Award-winning Photographer and Author
Interviews with Co-editors
Pamela Burke and Patricia Caso
Pamela Burke Interview on The List (@thelistshowtv):
3 Must-Watch Documentaries
Directed By Women
Patricia Caso Presentation at the Fairfield Museum & History Center, Fairfield, Connecticut
Celebrating Women’s History Month: Changemakers & Storytellers with Patricia Caso, Co-editor of 20 Women Storytellers
The Women Behind the Book
We are friends, fellow broadcasters and journalists who have worked together in some cases for many years. Our backgrounds are varied, but a common thread is that we all care deeply about telling the stories of people who are solving problems and improving the lives of others.
We want to spread their messages of hope and optimism.
Co-Editors Pamela and Patricia have had several decades of experience producing and creating a variety of network and cable programs, many of which have been aimed at a female audience.
Our radio hosts Catherine and Stacey are multi-talented television personalities who have won awards for their skills on camera and in the field.
“Every man deserves a woman storyteller in his life – mother, sister, wife, daughter – who puts words and pictures together that educate and enthrall him. If he’s lucky, that is. If he’s not, he is blessed with this volume, 20 Women Storytellers, edited by Pamela Burke and Patricia Caso.”
-Richard B. Stolley, Founding Editor of People
Excerpts from the Book
Eye: I read that if not for 9/11, you might never have found your calling. Somebody asked you in your book, “What’s the juice for you?” Was that the initial juice?
Clarissa: I think for every American, 9/11 was like a thunderbolt from the sky. I felt like I needed to be more engaged with the world. I needed to go out and understand what the hell is going on, why these people wanted to kill us, why we have been misunderstood – or have we been misunderstood – have we done something to precipitate this, what is our role?
Photo: Scott McWhinnie
Eye: I wanted to start by talking about your relationship with at-risk youth and about your Kids in Focus program.
Karen: I really had no idea what was going to come from it. I thought I’d get some photographers I know and we’d teach the kids some photography and we’d put on an exhibit of their work–that it would probably boost their confidence.
When I finished that first project, I could not believe my eyes because these kids whom I knew well were drastically different — just life-changing transformations.
Photo: Scott Hayes
Eye: Conflict photojournalism is not a profession that has historically been populated by women. Was it a struggle for you to be taken seriously in the beginning?
Heidi: Yes, I had to fight my way in and then fight my way to be accepted into a profession that was, and still is to some degree, very much a boy’s club. Being female has given me more of an advantage for the intimate way I try to work especially when covering cultures that have strict modesty rules such as in the Middle East.
Photo: Warrick Page
Eye: You featured Gladys Kalibbala in your film, Misconception. What triggered the idea to write a book about her?
Heidi: In Uganda there are many reasons for children being lost, like illness, poverty or simple separation from family. I was impressed by the fact that Gladys was rescuing so many children on her own. She doesn’t have money or the backing of an NGO. But over the years she has taken on hundreds of these cases.
Photo: Warrick Page
“Story is everything. Find a story that means something to you and that has resonance.”
Sarah Burns, Documentarian, The Central Park Five
What People Are Saying…
“The pictures, the words and the images from 20 of the best. You can feel the inspiration here. This is great reading and worth every minute of your time.”
Award-winning Producer of the TODAY Show
“What can top a great story? Hearing these women tell their stories behind the stories. They pursue them with clear-headed drive, honesty, and compassion.”
Professor of the Practice, Boston University
“As a father who grew up with, and listening to, four daughters. I urge you, sir, to explore the fascinating world these women inhabit and, more graciously, are willing to share with you.”
Richard B. Stolley
Founding Editor of People
“A fascinating look at the challenges and triumphs of telling stories from the inspiring, diverse role models who are featured here.”
Award-winning Photographer and Author
“These storytellers lead by listening and watching before they capture the story in print or with their cameras or both. They enhance our understanding of the world with their superb vision.”
Award-winning Television Correspondent and Documentary Filmmaker
“It is no accident that so many of the stories here — of women and men and children — likely would not have been told without these media-makers’ interest and bravery in telling them.”
Associate Professor, School of Communication, American University, Washington, D.C.
“Trust your own instincts, which are far more powerful than you ever realize. Search for light and hope.”
Lindsey Seavert, Documentarian, Love Them First
“These storytellers lead by listening and watching before they capture the story in print or with their cameras or both.
It’s not unusual for them to take great risks documenting life with raw honesty. They enhance our understanding of the world with their superb vision.”
-Bonnie Strauss, Award-winning Television Correspondent and Documentary Filmmaker
“20 Women Storytellers is one-stop shopping for women spotlighting the truth while sharing their talent of the journalist’s pen, the photographer’s eye or the documentarian’s lens.”
-Samantha Harris, Emmy-winning TV host/Certified Health Coach/Author, “Your Healthiest Healthy”