In honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day, on Monday a Special Screening of the movie Hidden Figures will be held at the AMC Loews 34th St in Manhattan at 7PM followed by a panel Q&A with people from NASA and people affiliated with the film on the topic of fostering more diversity in math, technology and the sciences.
What does the title suggest and why is it so important?
In 2015, 17 exceptional people received the Medal of Freedom Awardat the White House by President Obama including Barbara Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra and Shirley Chisolm (posthumously) and a woman named Katherine G. Johnson.
Katherine G. Johnson – a name I wasn’t familiar with. From the introductory remarks, Katherine G. Johnson, an African-American woman, worked at NASA (originally NACA) in the ’50s and ’60s and became one of the most well-respected mathematicians in space computing. Considering the times, that was impressive in itself.
Next came the highlights of some of her accomplishments, like calculating the trajectory for Alan Shepard‘s space flight as the first American in space and John Glenn‘s orbit around the earth, as well as Apollo 11’s flight to the moon. Being a huge space buff and having been a graduate of Space Camp for adults, that was monumental!
Hidden Figures tells the story of Katherine G. Johnson and the women whose contributions in math and engineering for NASA were instrumental in helping the United States win the Space Race.
The timeliness of this movie, when a half a century later, women and people of color are still woefully underrepresented in developing and designing the technology that they, and we, use today.
The Q&A panel that follows the screening will include MythbustersHost and Producer, Tamara Robertson, who is also a chemical and biomolecular engineer; Emily Levesque, a Hubble Fellow, who has discovered a number of red supergiants and the first candidate for a quantum star; and Charlie Oliver, who hosts Tech2025 website to inform the public about disruptive technologies on the horizon.
The program is co-hosted by #GoBeyond, a non-profit organization creating a docuseries about women who are doing groundbreaking and glass-ceiling-shattering science. #GoBeyond Producer Jenn Halweil will serve on the panel.
Avis Yates Rivers, CEO of Technology Concepts Group Internationaland lifelong advocate for the increased participation of women and people of color in Technology, is on the panel too. Avis serves on the board of the National Center for Women & Information Technology(NCWIT) and is the National Spokesperson for NCWIT’s Sit With MeCampaign.
She will be signing copies of her new book, “Necessary Inclusion:Embracing the Changing Faces of Technology” (see cover below).
This important movie and panel discussion that follows, is not to be missed!
Date: Monday, January 16th
Time: 7PM-Screening at Movie Theater (Panel Q&A to follow)
5PM-VIP Panel&Mixer (Cooper Union Rose Hall)
Place: AMC Loews 34th St
312 West 34tyh St
NY, NY 10001