Writer, researcher and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly will deliver the annual Louis L. Redding Lecture at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, in the Multipurpose Room of the Trabant University Center on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.
Shetterly is the author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. The New York Times bestseller was turned into a film, currently in theaters, starring Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner.
Shetterly will talk about race, gender, science and the history of technology. She will show the surprising ways that women and people of color have contributed to American innovation while pursuing the American Dream.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP by March 1 at this website.
Shetterly is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive of the stories of NASA’s African-American “Human Computers” whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in World War II, the Cold War, and the Space Race.
Shetterly’s father was among the early generation of black NASA engineers and scientists, and she had direct access to NASA executives and the women featured in the book. She grew up around the historically black Hampton College, where the women in Hidden Figures studied.
In addition to Shetterly’s lecture, the University will recognize the recipients of the Louis L. Redding Diversity Award and the Louis L. Redding Scholar Award at the event. More information about the awards and the nomination process is available on the University’s diversity website.
Coinciding with Shetterly’s visit, the University of Delaware Library will mount a special exhibition featuring women of color in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Louis L. Redding lecture honors the late civil rights pioneer, a prominent lawyer in Wilmington, Delaware, whose work led to educational opportunities for African American students in the state and nation. In 2013, the University dedicated a new residence hall named in his honor.