Grant #274


December 25, 2017

They dared to be UNLADYLIKE. When these women boldly went where “a lady” wouldn’t, they made history. The ceilings they smashed through weren’t glass–they were solid concrete.

It used to be easy to coerce a woman into living a small and quiet life, to fulfill her domestic duties and “act like a lady.”

Women were socially shamed for daring to step outside the home to do “unladylike” things like voting, and even having any job at all, much less jobs like scientists, explorers and journalists.

Those jobs belonged to men, and what lady would even want one?

Well, as it turns out, some women didn’t care if they acted like the ladies society expected them to be.

They dared to blaze trails where ladies were not supposed to go.

“Unladylike” is a new series giving these bold women their historic due.

Using breathtaking artwork and animation, rare historical archives, plus interviews with descendants, historians, and accomplished women of today who will reflect upon the influence and achievements of some of these pioneers, UNLADYLIKE will teach us about these women, AND, there will be study guides to teach the next generation in their classrooms. Start with Bessie Coleman (1892-1926, pictured below), the daughter of sharecroppers from rural Texas, who was rejected from every aviation school in America for being a woman and for being black. Refusing to take no for an answer, Coleman traveled to France and became the first woman and the first African American to obtain an international license to fly in 1921. Throughout the rest of her brief career, Coleman refused to perform in American airshows where audiences were segregated, thus pressuring venues to open their doors to all.

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After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders