EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) While the Women’s Equality Centennial Celebration had to be canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is returning this year to the Old National Events Plaza. Astronaut, engineer, author and STEM proponent Dr. Mae C. Jemison will speak at this year’s event.
Women’s Equality Day celebrates the 19th Amendment and women earning the right to vote. Evansville and all Indiana women joined others in the nation at the polls in November of 1920.
The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. August 26, at Old National Events Plaza.
Seating is limited and no tickets will be available the day of the event. Individual tickets are available for $60 each and special $100 individual seat tickets or Centennial Patrons who will be recognized in the program. The luncheon will follow social distancing guidelines. Table sponsorships are also available. To get tickets, visit http://steppingupevv.com/tickets/.
Jemison will not only look back and celebrate the 101th anniversary of women’s right to vote, but also help Evansville look to the future. She encourages young people to pursue careers in science and technology which would help our community’s challenge to attract and retain a 21st century workforce
“A lot of times women, particularly young women, may feel they don’t belong, and I tell them they have every right to be there,” Jemison says.
Jemison was the first woman of color to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program and travel in space. She served as a mission specialist, performing experiments while on the Space Shuttle Endeavour which orbited the earth for almost eight days in 1992. Jemison now is building a global community to support 100 Year Starship, a nonprofit initiative to make sure human space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years.
After leaving NASA in 1993, Jemison founded a technology research company and a non-profit educational foundation, The Jemison Group, to encourage a love of science in students and bring advanced technology to schools around the world. The 100YSS True Books was designed to engage elementary students. Jemison is a figure in LEGO’s Women of NASA set and has appeared on television including an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Jemison grew up on the South Side of Chicago and credits her high school teachers with challenging her and encouraging her to pursue both her interests of dance and science. She entered Stanford at age 16 and earned a B.S. in chemical engineering while also pursuing studies in African and Afro-American studies. She then received her M.D. from Cornell. Jemison was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia from 1983 to 1985 before joining NASA in 1987. She also worked as an engineer and in a Cambodian refugee camp.
Jemison has received numerous accolades, including several honorary doctorates, and she has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and International Space Hall of Fame.
Jemison will also meet with area high school students while in Evansville.