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A Seat at the Table – Honoring Black History Month

A Seat at the Table – Honoring Black History Month

Many black women in history have been pioneers in their field, changed history by standing up for what they believed, broke barriers in male-dominated industries or gave back in ways that changed the world. We honor, love, and admire all their efforts and sacrifice. This month we would like to celebrate a few women who accomplished what some considered impossible.

 During a recent visit to the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, I was elated to witness the honor and praise attributed to women who had contributed to STEM fields. I would like to highlight a few superstars and their amazing accomplishments.

 Annie Easley, computer scientist, mathematician and rocket scientist.

Not many people can say they were rocket scientists. What an accomplishment and honor.  Annie was raised by a mother who always assured Annie that she could do anything as long as she worked hard. Against all odds and fighting discrimination all the way, Annie paved the way to a long and lasting 30-year career at NASA. What moved me most was seeing young girls honor such a brilliant mind by writing a post-it note: “Women of Color Rock” and posting it by her photo.

Katrina Miller, PHD Candidate in Physics at the University of Chicago

 

Katrina Miller is inspiring young women everywhere to pursue careers in STEM. As the founder of the #Iam Project, Katrina gives back by mentoring young minds and helping them pursue work in STEM because as Katrina noted, “the first time I met another black woman in physics wasn’t until my senior year of college. I want young girls to have that moment much sooner.”  Katrina is a leader and mentor to all young women aspiring in the STEM fields.

Joan Higginbotham, engineer and former NASA Astronaut

We are Chicago proud of Joan, the 3rd African American woman to go to space. (1st - Mae Jemison; 2nd - Stephanie Wilson.) Joan graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Southern Illinois University and began her career at the Kennedy Space Center in 1987 and was then chosen for the astronaut program in 1996. Joan was a member of the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-116 mission that launched to the International Space Station on December 9, 2006. Joan is an inspiration to all young girls who dream of being an astronaut.

 Katherine Johnson, mathematician

Katherine joined NASA in 1953, and throughout her 33 years at NASA, she broke barriers in mathematics. Her accomplishments were highlighted in the movie, Hidden Figures. The film shows how Katherine’s mathematical calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the Mercury vessel, Friendship 7, which orbited Earth. Katherine also assisted Alan Shepard’s 1961 journey to space and Apollo 11’s moon landing and return to Earth in 1969. Her work continued to amaze us through her career at NASA. In 2015 President Obama awarded Katherine the Presidential Medal of Freedom stating, “Katherine G. Johnson refused to be limited by society’s expectations of her gender and race while expanding the boundaries of humanity’s reach.”

Katherine said during her tenure at Langley, which spanned from 1953 until her retirement in 1986, was “a time when computers wore skirts.”

In honor of Katherine’s accomplishments, NASA has dedicated a building in her name, the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility in VA. 

 We are so inspired by the contributions Katherine made to mathematics and the role model she is for young women everywhere, we are proud to announce we have named a lip-gloss in her honor. This spring, you will be able to purchase the dome BEAUTY lip-gloss in the shade, Katherine, in honor of Katherine Johnson!

Highlighting the successes of women in STEM is so important to dome BEAUTY. The science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are a critical component of the cosmetic industry. All the product advances you see today are a direct result of someone from the STEM field, whether it is a chemist developing new ingredients for improved formulations, technology that provides new and improved beauty product packaging or a scientist making enhancements to improve the quality of the products you use every day like our dome BEAUTY gold eye shadow or magnetic mascara. We owe it all to STEM and the people behind the scenes--our own beauty Hidden Figures.   


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