Did you know that T.S. Helliot is a librarian? Or that Jailya Roberts is a Chicago police officer? Mekana Kill is just another name for a downtown mechanical engineer. After watching my first Derby bout I was curious and intrigued to know more about this diverse group of woman who spend their nights entertaining crowds, after full days as teachers, lawyers, and loving moms.
What type of individual is motivated to work full-time and endure long exhausting practices most evenings and grueling bouts on the weekend? This is not a sport for the faint of heart. Bruises, concussions, and broken ankles are just a few of the common injuries. Are these women literally able to do it all? Successful careers, families AND derby?
The "Women of the Chicago Roller Derby" celebrates women and the dual lives they often lead. It also explores how woman roles are changing and what it looks like to be a career woman, mom, sister, and grandma. I have always been attracted to what makes individuals do what they do. I find the multi-faceted lives these woman lead intriguing, inspiring, and moving. I hope you find inspiration in their stories.
Since 2001, CircEsteem's mission has been to unite youths from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and help them build self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts. I have had the privilege of working with these incredible individuals and documenting their journey as they build an inspiring and full life for themselves while at CircEsteem and beyond.