Hidden Figures!

Happy Black and Gold (and white, there is still snow) Friday, Deac families. Today I saw news of an event so wonderful it is definitely worth sharing:


Special Event/ Speaker: Margot Lee Shetterly (author of Hidden Figures)

Special Event/ Speaker: Margot Lee Shetterly (author of Hidden Figures)

Writer, researcher, and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, which was a top book of 2016 for both TIME and Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today bestseller, and a #1 (instant) New York Times bestseller.

The film adaptation of her book—which became the number one movie in America—stars Taraji P. HensonOctavia SpencerJanelle MonaeKirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Octavia Spencer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. To The New York Times, the film introduces viewers to “real people you might wish you had known more about earlier … [who] can fill you with outrage at the persistence of injustice and gratitude toward those who had the grit to stand up against it.”

Shetterly is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive of the stories of NASA’s African-American “Human Computers” whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in WWII, the Cold War, and the Space Race. Shetterly’s father was among the early generation of black NASA engineers and scientists, and she had direct access to NASA executives and the women featured in the book. She grew up around the historically black Hampton University, where some of the women in Hidden Figures studied. Along with Aran Shetterly, Shetterly co-founded the magazine Inside Mexico. She graduated from The University of Virginia, and is a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow.

Special thanks to the following campus partners/contributors:

The Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Math, Physics, the Office of the Dean of the College, the Division of Campus Life, the Intercultural Center, Office of Personal & Career Development, the Provost Office, Wake Downtown, the Women’s Center.

This event is free and open to the public, but ticket & registration will be required.

Not sure if your Deacs saw the movie Hidden Figures yet or not, but it is bound to be available on a variety of cable and streaming services.  To go back to my old “Wake is a great smorgasbord” analogy, the chance to hear her speak is a delicious bite on the buffet that I hope they will try.

And as it is the first Friday when everyone is back at school, let’s resurrect the friendly reminder to call your Deacs this afternoon and chat with them. Tell them you love them and miss them and remind them how important they are to you.

Categories: campus life


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