Monday, January 16, 2017

Thank you Martin Luther King

Hello World!
Today I would like to thank Martin Luther King Jr. for his advocacy, dedication, and significant contribution to making the world a better place. I cannot imagine life without the friends and family who do not look like me, who do not speak the same language, who are different by many definitions that do not matter but so similar based on the ones that do. I am thankful it is not a crime to be with my loved ones. I know it wasn't, and isn't, always this way. As we reflect on the past, consider the future, and act in the present, we have decisions to make moving forward. What do we want for ourselves? What can we do to achieve that?  I was fortunate to hear Jerry Davis, the Chief Information Officer for NASA and one of the Nation's top African American STEM minds ( speak about what Martin Luther King means to him. In his talk titled, Chaos or Community: Where do we go from here? Drawing upon a past Martin Luther King lecture, I learned that the answers from the past are as relevant today.He shared inspiring words about choice- the choice to choose forgiveness over fear, love over hate, compassion, and humility over despair. It was a message that we all have an opportunity to take failures and turn them into success, through communication and continued personal and community effort. We don't choose our challenges and obstacles, but we can choose how we respond to them. It reminded me the importance of reaching out, of giving acceptance and love, even when it is hard, and not giving up. Ever.

Resources for Dr. King


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hidden Figures

Hello World!
I just saw the movie, Hidden Figures and I have to say, it is no exaggeration that NASA owes its space prowess thanks to African American Women Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson . The movie makes me truly proud of their individual achievement, the accomplishments of women, and the accomplishments of African Americans. I believe we are all connected and we share successes. We also share pasts, presents, and futures. I am saddened by history and how they were treated. I am saddened by the reality of how many people are still treated so poorly today. History is reality though and being sad cannot change that. It also will not change the present or future. It is crucial to let ourselves see history as it happened, to see our part in its continuation however unintended. It is important to  know that each and every one of us has the opportunity to positively influence another life, and even many lives. I do not want to spoil the movie, but I think the take away is, that we must use our talents (even in the face of adversity), that we have a responsibility to bring others up and invest in treating everyone (to include ourselves) with dignity and respect, and that the future Demands diversity!

You MUST see this movie! And/Or read the book!

In addition to seeing the movie, you can check out  resources such as

Why should you check out these links? Because it is important to normalize the pictures in our mind to include all people. So much of the messaging we've received does not include women, minorities, and marginalized people. To move forward, we must be able to contradict negative messages that society has imparted over many ages. How to do this? We must learn and be exposed, and more importantly be active. It is not enough to watch the movie, that is a great start, but action is still required. Next comes making a point to share, to inspire, to bring people to the table who do not look like you, providing resources to further these efforts, and to see and encourage the diversity and capability in all of us.

Our work is far from done, but is exciting how far (to the moon and beyond!) it can take us when we try.

Image from internet search screenshot