AWIS Endorses Senate Bill Recognizing “Hidden Figures” for Contributions to Space Race

Aug 2, 2018 | Action Alert, Press Release


Maria Ibañez

AWIS Endorses Bipartisan Senate Bill Recognizing “Hidden Figures” African American Mathematicians for Contributions During Space Race

WASHINGTON DC, August 2, 2018 – Leading advocate for women in STEM, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) endorsed the bipartisan Senate bill introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.),  and 44 other Senators honoring four African American female mathematicians that significantly contributed to the United States’ victory in the Space Race. Under the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Dr. Christine Darden would receive the highest award the United States can bestow to a civilian, the Congressional Gold Medal.

“The credit and recognition to these four brave and courageous STEM professionals who paved the way for women, especially women of color, is long overdue, and we applaud this bipartisan effort to acknowledge these ‘Hidden Figures,'” said Janet Bandows Koster, AWIS Executive Director and CEO. “AWIS research shows a strong correlation between women with role models and women with leadership goals to help drive excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors.”

The four mathematicians’ personal and professional lives were featured in Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. The book was adapted into the 2016 film Hidden Figures.




About AWIS:
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide. Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. To learn more, visit and and follow @AWISNational and @stemtomarket on Twitter and Facebook.



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