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Mae Jemison      

First Black Woman in Space & Former NASA Astronaut; National Women's & International Space Hall of Famer

Dr. Mae C. Jemison leads 100 Year Starship (100YSS), a bold, far reaching nonprofit initiative to assure the capabilities exist for human travel beyond our solar system to another star within the next 100 years. Jemison is building a multi-faceted global community to foster the cultural, scientific, social and technical commitment, support and financial framework to accomplish the 100YSS vision-An Inclusive, Audacious Journey (that) Transforms Life Here on Earth and Beyond. 100YSS programs include: Annual public conference NEXUS- Pathway to the Stars: Footprints on Earth; the Canopus Awards for Excellence in Interstellar Writing; the 100YSS Crucibles-Invitation only, transdisciplinary workshops to generate new disciplines to disrupt technological and systemic hurdles; and 100YSS True Books to engage elementary students. The 100YSS Way Research Institute seeks to generate the radical leaps that accelerate knowledge, technology, design, and thinking not just for space travel, but to enhance life on Earth. Jemison led the team that won the competitive, single awardee seed funding grant in February 2012 from premiere research agency DARPA.

Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space, served six years as a NASA astronaut. Aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-47 Spacelab J mission in September 1992, she performed experiments in material science, life sciences and human adaptation to weightlessness.

Jemison started The Jemison Group, Inc. (JG) a technology consulting firm integrating critical socio-cultural issues into the design of engineering and science projects, such as satellite technology for health care delivery and solar dish Stirling engine electricity in developing countries. JG researches and develops stand-alone science and technology companies. BioSentient Corporation, a medical devices and services company focused on improving health and human performance is such a company. An Environmental Studies professor at Dartmouth College, Jemison worked on sustainable development and technology design particularly for the developing world. Before joining NASA she was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia and a general practice physician in Los Angeles.

In 1994 Jemison founded the international science camp The Earth We Share™ (TEWS) for 12-16 year old students from around the world, a program of the non-profit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (DJF). From 2011 to 2014, DJF held TEWS-Space Race in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District training hundreds of middle school teachers in experiential science education and over thousands of middle school students. Other foundation programs include Reality Leads Fantasy-Celebrating Women of Color in Flight that highlighted women in aviation and space from around the world. EXPO Inspire is a hands-on public STEM fair. LOOK UP™ announced in September 2017 an international movement to galvanize people worldwide, on a single day, to acknowledge that we are Earthlings.

Jemison is Bayer Corporation USA’s national science literacy ambassador. She is one of the series hosts for National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock” and space operations advisor for its global miniseries MARS.

Jemison is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and is on the boards of directors of Kimberly–Clark, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and the Texas Medical Center. She was the Founding Chair of the Texas state Product Development and Small Business Incubator Board, Chair the Texas State Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Cluster, Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership Disaster Planning and Recovery Task Force, and served on the board of Scholastic, Inc. and Valspar Corporation. Jemison is a inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame and Texas Science Hall of Fame, International Space Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award, The Kilby Science Award and National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship 100 most influential people in the boardroom in 2014, Honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the New York Academy of Sciences, among many honors. She was a featured panelist on the CNBC special “The Business of Science” (9/2011) and was one of the teachers on “The Dream School.” Jemison is an author including Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life True Books series on space exploration. She was the first real astronaut to appear on Star Trek TV series and is a LEGO figurine in the LEGO Women of NASA kit.

Speech Topics

Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential

Dedicating her life’s work to scientific, technological, and medical advancements, Dr. Jemison explores the frontiers of science and the human potential.

STEM: The Importance of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

Dr. Jemison discusses the importance of STEM in developing the next generation of problem solvers and entrepreneurs. This is an important topic for college and universities, as well as municipal regions working in partnership with businesses to attract and develop STEM talent.


Opinion | I Was the First Woman of Color in Space. Here's What ...

In my years in NASA and since, I've seen the untapped potential of women, particularly women of color. By Mae Jemison. Dr. Jemison was the first woman of color ...

Astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir: 2020 TIME 100 List | TIME

By Mae Jemison. September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT. In October 2019, Christina Koch and Jessica Meir exited the International Space Station and replaced a ...

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps to become first Black woman living ...

A day after the agency's announcement, Mae Jemison, who was the first Black woman to travel into the space, congratulated Epps on Twitter. ADVERTISEMENT.

Kamala Harris' background resonates with trailblazing women of color

Mae Jemison was in kindergarten when the teacher asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. “A scientist,” Jemison beamed. The teacher looked down ...

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