Kathleen Collins

Kathleen Collins deserves respect for managing to produce her feature film Losing Ground even before you consider that she achieved this in 1982 as an independent filmmaker. But what earns her place in history is that when she wrote and directed Losing Ground, she was one of the first African-American women to produce a feature length drama.

Ava DuVernay

You are likely familiar with the name Ava DuVernay. As a filmmaker, she’s repeatedly made history as the first African-American woman to be nominated for and win multiple top awards. Her career has ranged through both fiction and documentary, and many different facets of the production process including writing, directing, and producing.

Kimberly Bryant

While African-American, Latina, and Native American women are considered prolific users of technology only around 3 percent of high-tech jobs are filled by African-American women. Kimberly Bryant wants to move this group from being seen as simply consumers of technology to being its creators.

Annie Easley

From a young age, Annie Easley’s mother had told her that she could be anything she wanted, but she would have to work for it. She became a human computer and then computer programmer.

Valerie Thomas

Wanting to provide inspiration to young people that also might not been encouraged to pursue math and science as careers NASA scientist Valerie Thomas was a mentor to youths through Science Mathematics Aerospace Research and Technology and the National Technical Association.

Tanya Moore

Dr. Tanya Moore is a member of the Board of Directors for Building Diversity in Science whose mission is to inspire, empower, and support underrepresented groups of students in the pursuit of STEM careers.

Treena Livingston Arinzeh

Dr. Treena Livingston Arinzeh has always had a passion for math and science. But when her high school teacher suggested she pursue engineering, she couldn’t picture it because she had never met an African American engineer. Luckily for medical science, she gave engineering a try.

Melanie Harrison-Okoro

Using social media, Dr. Melanie Harrison-Okoro hopes to engage readers on topics of environmental science including areas like water pollution and invasive species.

Alexa Canady

Falling in love with medicine during a summer program for minority students at the University of Michigan that she attended after her junior year of college, Dr. Alexa Canady would become the first African-American neurosurgeon in the United States.

Dorothy Vaughan

Today for #BossDay we’re celebrating the first African-American manager at NASA, pioneering mathematician and human computer Dorothy Vaughan.

Jane Wright

When she was appointed associate dean and head of the Cancer Chemotherapy Department at New York Medical College in 1967, Dr. Jane Wright was the highest ranking African-American woman in a U.S. medical institution.

Alice Ball

The first woman and first African-American to earn a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, Alice Ball went on to develop a highly effective treatment for leprosy.

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