“The first thing about empowerment is to understand that you have the right to be involved. The second one is that you have something important to contribute. And the third piece is that you have to take the risk to contribute it.”

Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to go to space. She was inspired as a young child by how the show Star Trek showed individuals of different genders and races working together – the black female Lieutenant Uhura was her role model. When she went to space in 1992, she took with her pieces of African and African American culture so that they would be represented, not excluded, in space. She later started the technology consulting firm Jemison Group Inc and the BioSentient Corporation that allows doctors to monitor daily nervous system functions. She is also leading the 100 Year Starship program that seeks to make it so that humans can go to the next solar system within the next 100 years.

Source: Rachel Ignotofsky, Women in Science