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Women's History Month 2023

Throughout the year, NEPM celebrates women’s vital role in our society and their achievements in history, science, culture, education and the arts. This month, we proudly present programs to provide a deeper understanding of women’s contributions to America and the world.

Jazz à la Mode celebrates Women’s History Month
Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. on NEPM 88.5
Mary Lou Williams has quite the legacy. She was an exceptional composer, arranger and pianist. American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, and Dizzy Gillespie. And she was one of only 3 women who appeared in the famous photo of jazz greats “A Great Day in Harlem.” NEPM Jazz à la Mode host Bex Taylor celebrates the start of Women’s History Month with an exploration of the legacy of Mary Lou Williams.

Girl Talk: A Local, USA Special
Watch Monday, March 6 at 8 p.m. on NEPM WORLD
Thursday, March 13 at 9 p.m. on NEPM TV
The Newton South Debate Team is one of the largest in the country, with a diverse roster of debaters; nearly half are girls and many are first generation Americans. Unlike most of their elite competitors, they must only rely on one another to master the art of debate. Set in the cutthroat, male-dominated world of high school debate, Girl Talk tells the compelling story of five girls on the top-ranked Massachusetts high school team as they strive to become the best in the U.S.

America ReFramed: Running with My Girls
Watch Thursday, March 9 at 8 p.m. on NEPM WORLD
Tired of watching local governments ignore their communities’ interests, five diverse female activists run for municipal office in Denver — one of the U.S.’s fastest gentrifying cities. A story about an engaged community outrunning the deep pockets of the political establishment, Running with My Girls demonstrates that building a new kind of political power is not just aspirational but possible.

The Long Form
Witness: Women's History Month
Listen Sunday, March 12 at 6 p.m. on NEPM 88.5
Hear remarkable stories of women’s history, told by the women who were there. In Italy, we learn about the Wages for Housework campaign. We hear from the French sex workers who went on strike for fairer policing. In Saudi Arabia, we meet the women behind the campaign to win the right of women to drive cars.

Independent Lens: Storming Caesars’ Palace
Watch Monday, March 20 at 10 p.m.
After losing her job as a hotel worker in Las Vegas, Ruby Duncan joined a welfare rights group of mothers who defied notions of the “welfare queen.” In a fight for guaranteed income, Ruby and other equality activists took on the Nevada mob in organizing a massive protest that shut down Caesars Palace.

Boston Symphony Orchestra Broadcast
"Her Story" by Julia Wolfe
Listen Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m. on NEPM 88.5
Guest Giancarlo Guerrero leads American composer Julia Wolfe’s BSO co-commissioned "Her Story," featuring the Lorelei Ensemble women’s vocal group. Originally commissioned to commemorate the centenary of women’s right to vote in the U.S., the piece broadly speaks of the continuing struggle for women’s rights.

Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song
Friday, March 31 at 9 p.m.
After getting her start in coffee shops Joni Mitchell went on to set a new standard, marrying music and lyrics with such songs as “Both Sides, Now.” While her early material is often categorized as “folk,” she became a household name with music that defies categorization.


American Masters: How It Feels To Be Free
A documentary that tells the inspiring story of how six iconic African American women entertainers – Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier – challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.

Bring Her Home
Bring Her Home follows three Indigenous women – an artist, an activist, and a politician – as they fight to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives who have fallen victims to a growing epidemic across Indian country. Despite the lasting effects from historical trauma, each woman must search for healing while navigating racist systems that brought about this very crisis.

Great Performances: The Conductor
Follow Marin Alsop’s journey to become the first female music director of a major American symphony despite repeated rejection by the classical music industry. Features archival footage with her mentor Leonard Bernstein and is set to a soundtrack of her performances.

American Experience
Sandra Day O'Connor: The First
Discover the story of the Supreme Court’s first female justice. A pioneer who both reflected and shaped an era, Sandra Day O'Connor was the deciding vote in cases on some of the 20th century’s most controversial issues—including race, gender and reproductive rights.

American Masters: Becoming Helen Keller
Revisit the complex life and legacy of the author, advocate and human rights pioneer. Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind, used her celebrity and wit to champion rights for women, people with disabilities and people living in poverty.

American Masters: Twyla Moves
Explore legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp’s career and famously rigorous creative process, with original interviews, first-hand glimpses of her at work and rare archival footage of select performances from her more than 160 choreographed works.

American Masters
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir
The story of the author whose first novel, “The Joy Luck Club,” was published to great commercial and critical success. With the blockbuster film adaption that followed as well as additional best-selling novels, librettos, short stories and memoirs, Tan firmly established herself as one of the most prominent and respected American literary voices working today.

Independent Lens: Dolores
With intimate and unprecedented access, Peter Bratt's Dolores tells the story of Dolores Huerta, among the most important, yet least-known, activists in American history. Co-founder of the first farmworkers union with Cesar Chavez, she tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century.


American Experience: The Vote
Over one hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history.

American Masters
Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands
Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. Watch rare archival footage and hear audio recordings exploring her life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department.

American Experience: The Codebreaker
Based on the book "The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies," The Codebreaker reveals the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode thousands of messages for the U.S. government.

Frontline: A Thousand Cuts
With press freedom under threat in the Philippines, "A Thousand Cuts" goes inside the escalating war between the press and the government. The documentary follows Maria Ressa, a renowned journalist who has become a top target of President Duterte's crackdown on the news media.

Connecting Point
Meet women who are enriching the arts scene of our region — from sign makers to poets, chefs to musicians. Visit their studios, watch them perform and hear firsthand accounts about their creative processes.


Students, educators and parents can find a wealth of information and inspiring stories at PBS Learning Media. There’s a collection of Women’s History Month content from the producers of Independent Lens, companion digital resources for "Unladylike2020" from American Masters, units on suffrage for multiple grade levels, a group of lessons on women’s empowerment, and more.

YouTube Playlist: Celebrate Women's History with PBS Kids

PBS Kids for Parents: 15 Children's Books to Celebrate Women's History

PBS Learning Media: Women’s History Month Collection

PBS Learning Media: Teaching Women’s Suffrage

PBS Learning Media: Women’s Empowerment