Thanks to the film "Hidden Figures," NASA pioneers Katherine Johnson, Dr. Christine Darden, and the late Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan are continuing to receive overdue recognition for the groundbreaking work they did in the STEM field.
Recently, the Black woman leaders were nominated for a Congressional Gold Medal, reports KTVA. This award, which is considered one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, is given to trailblazing individuals who have contributed to the greater good of American history. The women were nominated for this recognition by a group of 44 political leaders including California Senator Kamala Harris, Delaware Senator Chris Coons and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.
"These women were barrier breakers, and their immeasurable contributions to NASA and our nation have cemented their place in history,” said Harris in a statement, according to KTVA. “I’m proud to help recognize their achievements as they continue to serve as a beacon for Black women both young and old, across the country."
Senator Coons added that the remarkable achievements of these women have been hidden for too long and that it’s been overdue for them to be recognized for the historical mark they’ve left on the STEM industry. He emphasized that “this bill will help recognize these extraordinary women and bring their accomplishments into the light so they can serve as an inspiration to younger generations of women in science, particularly those of color.”
The Congressional Gold Medal nomination is the latest in a string of awards and recognitions that the trailblazing women have received. In June, West Virginia State University announced that a bronze statue will be created in Katherine Johnson’s honor as well as a scholarship fund in her name.