Joey Leroux and Rebecca Fisher hope their company, Beyond the Bell Walking Tours, will tell people about the Philly pioneers that changed history, but are virtually unknown, writes Elizabeth Warner for The Philadelphia Citizen.
People like Barbara Gittings, a lesbian activist, the first person to link queer rights to civil rights. Or Gloria Casarez, who created clinics to help non-white communities deal with the AIDS crisis.
Beyond the Bell highlights the marginalized communities, peoples and histories. Tours include an LGBTQ tour, a Badass Women of Philadelphia tour and The Philly Classic Tour.
Leroux and Fisher met at Haverford College. Leroux became interested in social entrepreneurship, which marries good works with making a profit. When Rebecca came to him with the idea to lead tours highlighting underrepresented historical figures, he was intrigued.
Leroux would see tours go through the Gayborhood around 13th Street and not even mention it.
“Tour guides are decision-makers. They decide who to highlight and who they think is important,” Leroux says.
To date, the company has one year and around 700 tours under its belt, and TripAdvisor already ranks it the number-one tour company in Philadelphia.
Read more about these history tours beyond the main stream here.