Movers and Shakers in STEM


Benjamin Banneker

  • Built a wooden clock- which was the first in America
  • Accurately predicted a solar eclipse that occurred in 1789
  • Helped to map Washington, D.C. creating the boundaries of the Nation’s capital
  • Wrote an annual almanac from 1791 until 1802

Elbert Frank Cox

  • He was the first black man to earn a Ph.D in mathematics not only in the United States, but in the entire world.
  • Became a professor of mathematics at Howard University in Washington D.C. and eventually became chairman of the Mathematics Department in 1957.
  • He would hold this role with great esteem until his retirement in 1965.

Katherine Johnson

  • One of the first African American students to integrate into West Virginia University
  • She did trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s May 1961 mission Freedom 7, America’s first human spaceflight
  • Solved calculations that helped synch Project Apollo’s Lunar Module with the lunar-orbiting Command and Service Module

John Urschel

  • Excelled at Penn State in football and mathematics
  • In 2014, Urschel was drafted from Penn State into the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens
  • He is set to receive his Ph.D in mathematics from MIT Spring 2021

Daniel Hale Williams 

  • Earned a medical degree Chicago in 1884
  • Opened the nation’s first black-owned interracial hospital, Provident Hospital
  • On July 10, 1893, he successfully repaired the pericardium

Euphemia Lofton Haynes

  • First African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics
  • First woman to chair the DC School Board
  • Had a 47-year career of advocacy for students of color, improving schools, and overcoming the harmful effects of racial segregation


Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts

  • Certified yogi, educator, cover model and doctor
  • Runs a yoga and literacy curriculum for Atlanta-area youth organizations
  • Provides trainings for yoga practitioners, educators, community leaders, activists and students
  • Encourages cultivating community through yoga

Lauren Ash

  • Co-founded Black Girl In Om, an organization devoted to promoting holistic wellness and self-care for women of color
  • Black Girl In Om is part publication, part facilitator of yoga and holistic experiences throughout the country
  • Offers meditation and a 28-day Intention and Alignment

Wendy & Jess

  • Both are Registered Dieticians
  • Started the web series Food Heaven Made Easy
  • Demonstrate how to cook nutrient dense, delicious and affordable plant-based recipes while providing scientifically sound nutrition information.
  • Created the 28-Day Plant Powered Health Reboot Cookbook

Millana Snow

  • An entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Reiki healer
  • Empowers and supports others to heal themselves by expanding consciousness in their every day lives
  • Offers online Har meditation and digital energy reports

Ciarra Ross

  • Created a virtual space that enhances holistic health through both spiritual and emotional healing
  • Call for more restorative, healing spaces for those who have experienced generational oppression, abuse, poverty and exploitation
  • A doula, Reiki healer and writer


George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils and cosmetics.

Claudette Colvin, a 15-year old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks on March 2, 1955.

The first licensed African American Female pilot was named Bessie Coleman.

Interracial marriage in the United Sates was banned in 1664 and not overturned until 1967.

In 1921, "Black Wall Street" was a thriving community of black businesses.

Sarah Boone was an African American dressmaker and made her name by inventing the modern-day ironing board. With its approval in 1892, she became one of the first Black women to be awarded a patent.

Knowing the past opens the door to the future