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Trailblazers: Downtown

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around Downtown that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Erica Dias

I started my creative journey at the ripe age of 15 years old, and I can remember it like it was yesterday, reaching out to my version of Michelle Obama but in the fashion world June Ambrose when I was 15, calling her office on my lunch break. Read more>>

Jill Gregory

The first time I ever cut hair, I got grounded. The NFL-player-inspired stripes I’d shaved into my brother’s hair with a blue Bic razor horrified our parents. At 12, I was just offended they didn’t even give me a chance to finish my work. Read more>>

Kristen Baskin

Compost has fascinated me for a long time. I remember living in West Philadelphia and exploring the wild and curious city on my red bicycle. I came across a little farm in the middle of nowhere with a composting toilet, bees, and potatoes. Read more>>

Keona Blunt

Girl Code is a nonprofit organization concerned with the social, academic, and behavioral development of girls. Through mentorship and tutoring, Girl Code seeks to encourage a standard of excellence and mutual respect amongst women while embracing individuality, creativity, and prosperity. Read more>>

Leticia Gardner

I started in the fitness industry not long after I met my husband back in 2009. He’s retired NFL and working out was part of his everyday life. He introduced me to it and that when I fell in love with fitness. Read more>>

Chef Leslie Hudson- Gordon

I found my special place in culinary with intimate catering and specialty desserts. Penelahpe’s has had the opportunities to cater for weddings, art shows, non-profit retreats and government receptions. Read more>>

Paige Jurado

My story is important to me, because I know other people can see themselves, and their own heart break and struggle in it as well. I want people to know, that if I can do it, and ultimately help change the world for the better, then they certainly can, too. Read more>>

Dionne Barber

I actually started blogging back in 2009. At the time, I was covering celebrity fashion. I was not consistent at all and nobody read it. It wasn’t until 2013 when I started to put myself out in the forefront of my blog showing my outfits that people slowly started to pay attention. Read more>>

Latoya Dixon Smith

I came to the world of photography about how a lot of photographer moms do. When my son was about 18 months old we bought a camera. My curiosity challenged me to become better at the craft and before I knew it, I had people asking me to take their family photos. Read more>>

Samantha Ramirez-Herrera

Sam’s unorthodox path to becoming a digital media maverick is rooted in her own story of drive and determination. She was 7 years old when her parents decided to move the family from Mexico City to the United States, seeking a better life. Read more>>

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