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SXSW 2021

Rise Up: Black Women & Girls Reaching for the Stars

At the critical juncture of the national reckonings on racial and gender equality are women of color, with Black women often the most marginalized and underrepresented. Yet they have remarkable potential to elevate our nation and the world because diversity is key to innovation, and those who have persevered are uniquely suited to excellence. As such, the voices of Black women are crucial in any discussion of the future. This presentation will feature two women from JHU/APL and NASA who have made history in their own right, sharing their inspirational journeys, compelling data illustrating the current status and historic achievements of Black women, thoughts from notable Black women in STEM across the country, and experiences of real hidden figures submitted by attendees and the public.

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  1. What are historic contributions and perspectives of Black women in aerospace, technology and government?
  2. What is the status of Black women and girls in STEM and challenges/barriers to participation?
  3. What are unique experiences and lessons that can enlighten, guide and enpower Black girls today and in the future?



Shanessa Jackson, Communications Strategist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

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