WeWalk: Behind the Scenes of Opening the Way

Opening the Way is a walking tour celebrating women's history in downtown Manhattan. It is a multifaceted new project developed by the award-winning nonprofit organization Women's eNews. The walk honors the achievements of women such as Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Ida B. Wells -- 21 women in all. This blog has been created to update fans of the walk on its exciting developments and expansion. Please join us in revitalizing history that has been ignored or forgotten!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Making Women's History Come Alive

For the past few months, Women's eNews staff have been hard at work contacting today's women's leaders to record as the voices of the historical figures on our tour. We have had such positive feedback from them, and are excited to begin sharing the footage with our fans!

In this clip, Toni Reinhold does a dramatic, moving reading in honor of Nellie Bly. Ms. Reinhold is an author, an award-winning Reuters journalist and editor, and the President of the Newswomen's Club of New York. Nellie Bly is best known by many for her trip around the world in less than 80 days, in her attempt to bring Jules Verne's novel to life. But she also had an enormous impact on the lives of psychiatric patients. After pretending to be mentally ill, she entered the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island, and exposed the hospital's harsh conditions and inhumane treatment in her report Ten Days in a Mad-House. Her findings brought much-needed reform to the care of the mentally ill, and made her a pioneer in a new type of investigative journalism, or "stunt" reporting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Opening the Way with the New York Historical Society

The tour stops at Federal Hall, Wall Street

Women’s eNews staff were excited to host the launch of Opening the Way on Saturday, October 23rd in partnership with the New York Historical Society. This was the first tour since the women's history walk has gone through some changes including the addition of several new women and locations on the hour long circuit.

Feminists and history buffs came out to join us and learn about 21 fascinating women hidden from view on the streets of downtown New York, gasping with joy, listening intently and adding their own nuggets of information.

Betsy Wade and Jim Boylan, the walk's creators, led two separate groups. Betsy Wade is a former editor and reporter for the New York Times, and was president of Local 3, the Newspaper Guild. Jim Boylan is the founder of the Columbia Journalism Review, and a historian of the Progressive era.

Watch a clip from the tour, in which Betsy Wade discusses Margaret Sanger with a group in City Hall Park:

Do You Know Your Women's History?

21 women’s amazing stories are hidden in plain sight on the streets of downtown Manhattan--what do you know about them? We surveyed the neighborhood and got some interesting responses.