On Monday, January 13th of 2020, WPS held a showing of the movie Hidden Figures (2016), with this synopsis:
"As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes."
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels in this movie were very inspiring and witty! Our room had a couple of laughs at the cleverness of these ladies, and the way they handled themselves while persisting through an academic and social field built against them. Back then, during Friendship 11's launch, restrooms were still segregated and only white males had education and prestige of working for NASA. These ladies still demonstrated power, in that they skillfully earned respect from their coworkers and were go-getters. As leaders for other African Americans, and women, they went above and beyond in their fields. For example, in the movie, Dorothy Vaughan voiced her concern for her good work being unusable due to numbers that were changing, numbers known quickly in a top-secret meeting at NASA. She was told there was nothing they could do. But, the second time she voiced her concerns, her boss heard and personally introduced her at the meeting, where she was given an opportunity to shine as a genius. No matter what obstacles face us here at UCLA, there is something to learn from how these women rose in academia and handled themselves.