About the Badass Women Journal

About the Badass Women Journal

Badass women journal cover

We designed the Badass Women Journal for the freaking fantastic folks of our future. We have been promoting women’s history since our founding in 2010. Then for the past two years we organized a Badass Women of Chicago History storytelling event. We created this special gift to spread more awareness of the smarts, ingenuity and diversity of women in various fields of work and activism.

The 52-page Badass Journal has inspiring quotes by well-known heroes like Ida B. Wells and Michelle Obama. The vibrant watercolor illustrations include the background of eight badass women – like Bessie Coleman, who was the first licensed Black pilot, or Maria Tallchief, who was America’s first prima ballerina. Most of all, the blank sheets of this journal are great for notes, reflective writing, or drawings.

We plan to host a virtual Badass Women event this spring. You can make sure you get a spot early by grabbing a gift card for our Virtual Events.

About the South Side Giving Circle

$1 of every journal sold goes to the South Side Giving Circle, part of the Chicago Women’s Foundation. This fierce group of women invests in the economic, social and political power of black women and girls. Their targeted philanthropy “invests in the economic, social and political power of black women and girls in metropolitan Chicago.” Recent grantees includes A Long Walk Home and Assata’s Daughters.

South Side Giving Circle
Photo courtesy of the South Side Giving Circle.

About the Women in the Badass Journal

Badass women journal Iva Toguri D’Aquino

Iva Toguri D’Aquino

Forced to make radio propaganda for Japan, she slyly used sarcasm to avoid criticizing the US. This excellent Smithsonian article details how she risked it all to smuggle food to Allied POWs.

Bessie Coleman

The first Black woman to get a pilot’s license, her skill and daring stunts made her a star attraction in America and Europe. Her incredible life story is told in this video from The Atlantic.

Ethel Waters

A best-selling recording artist, she broke the color barrier on Broadway, got an Oscar nomination, and was the first Black woman to star in her own TV series. A biographical sketch from PBS gives you a sense of her paradigm-changing career.

Maria Tallchief

America’s first prima ballerina, she refused to change her Osage name for white audiences. Her performances in The Nutcracker and The Firebird revolutionized ballet in America, as you can see in this Kennedy Center video.

Enid Yandell

A gifted sculptor, she made a splash as one of the “White Rabbits,” the team of female artists who created hundreds of statues for the 1893 World’s Fair. You can discover more about her bold trailblazing from the Speed Art Museum.

Guadalupe Reyes

Disappointed with the opportunities for children, she busted ass to organize with other fed-up parents and, through sheer determination, helped create new neighborhood institutions that served immigrant families. The moving obituary from the Chicago Tribune gives a sense of how much her work was felt in her community.

Josephine Cochrane

After her fine china was chipped during a lavish party, Cochrane took matters into her own hands. She designed and filed the patent for a dishwasher prototype in 1885, using her initials instead of her clearly female first name in order to sidestep potential discrimination. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office pays fitting tribute to her “I’ll do it myself” attitude.

Addie L. Wyatt

badass women journal Addie L. Wyatt

She began her working life in the ‘40s as a meatpacker; by the ‘70s she was a leader in an international union and the founder of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. You can hear Wyatt tell her own story, including how she became a a Civil Rights crusader and Time Person of the Year in videos from the invaluable History Makers.

The Badass Women Journal Makes for a Great Gift

This $18 gift is designed to uplift and inspire people who respect diversity, love women’s history, and are badasses themselves. We recommend giving this gift to mothers, daughters, entrepreneurs, leaders, feminists, writers, artists, and professional women from scientists to inventors to educators to business owners. So basically, any woman you know who inspires others. 

You can buy a copy from our online store right now


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F

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