Robert Scott is the Director of Diversity Initiatives at Michigan Engineering and Implementation Lead for the College of Engineering’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
I remember vividly standing in the wings at Rackham Auditorium and looking out at the crowd of more than 1,000 people as they listened to Margot Lee Shetterly speak about race, gender, science, the history of technology – and so much more. Author of “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” and founder of “The Human Computer Project,” Shetterly’s project, book and inspirational movie helped show us the surprising ways that women and people of color have contributed to American innovation while pursuing the American Dream.
Shetterly was brought to campus by Michigan Engineering as part of the College’s DEI Strategic Plan. During her visit, she touched the minds of thousands of students, faculty and staff through a lecture, book signing, and on-stage chat with Vlasic Dean of Engineering Alec Gallimore, where she discussed the need for a greater diversity of voices in science and the STEM fields.
I was honored to have been a part of the team that brought Shetterly to campus as part of the annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium. Her knowledge, experience and research has helped shed a light on the impact that all women have had on the scientific field, and yet how their story has remained in the shadows for so long. I also loved seeing how people shared their experiences with the #IAmNotHidden hashtag.
I’m looking forward to hearing from two other great figures – General Colin Powell and U.S. Representative John Lewis – through other events hosted by the College and the University this year.