It’s been just about a month since Hidden Figures opened in theaters, and we are already starting to see the effect of this empowering film. The movie tells the story of the women who were the true stars of the space race, despite the gender and racial discrimination of the time. The story is truly inspiring and there is no doubt that it deserves the attention it is receiving.
Women are consistently underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, though women are contributing hugely to the sciences. Hidden Figures, however, has already made significant progress in changing this statistic.
Aldis Hodge, who plays Mary Jackson’s husband, Levi, in the film, talked about the great work the movie has been doing to motivate young girls interested in the STEM fields. He told NY Magazine, “We’ve already seen that effect happen nationally. We’re constantly doing panels for STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] and STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, and Mathematics] all over. I’m actually working on a project, an initiative called Image of STEM, that was started [by Dr. Knatokie Ford, former senior White House policy advisor to the science and tech division] at the White House during the last administration, the Obama administration.”
The wealth of exposure that the movie gives to the topic of women in STEM is so important to any young girls who think they might be interested in the field. Hodge’s work through the movie has taken him across the country in order to raise awareness, which is pretty awesome!
He goes on to say, “We’ve seen the way people are raising money to take these girls to go see the film and really promoting it. We did an event with Megan Chernin called Girls Build LA where we screened the film for 10,000 girls. It’s taken a life of its own and a lot of people are really supporting it. I love the fact that a lot of these girls are now getting support for their interest. It’s fantastic. I hope that it just keeps going.” In the past month, these events have spread the effect of Hidden Figures nationwide, and it looks like they hope for even more exposure.
Screenings and panels aside, it is great to see so many people with a positive attitude towards encouraging girls to go into STEM. With this progressive mindset, we can show our daughters and friends that they really do have endless opportunities.
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