Press Release

AIAA Offers Free MLK Day Program Featuring Black Aviation, Aerospace Heroes During AIAA SciTech Forum

By SpaceRef Editor
January 15, 2021
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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Aerospace Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE Aerospace SIG) are hosting: “A Tribute to Service: Community, Country, and Humanity,” Monday, January 18, 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET. This virtual program is free and open to the public. Register here.


“The AIAA and NSBE Aerospace SIG partnership demonstrates how science and technology intersect with the themes of serving the community, country, and humanity,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA Executive Director. “This online event recognizes several Black Americans who exemplify Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s concept of service, as a natural extension of the 2021 AIAA SciTech Forum focused on Accelerating Innovation Through Diversity.”


Featured speakers:

  • Virginia Ali, cofounder, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington, D.C.
  • Richard A. Baugh, treasurer, Howard Baugh Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.; son of the late Howard Baugh, World War II Tuskegee Airman (Black military aviator), member of 99th Flying Training Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group
  • Charles Bolden (USMC, Ret.), 12th NASA Administrator (the first Black Administrator); four-time NASA Space Shuttle astronaut  
  • Lt. Col. George Hardy (USAF, Ret.), highly decorated Documented Original Tuskegee Airman (DOTA), member of World War II 99th Flying Training Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group
  • Carole Hopson, First Officer, United Airlines
  • Marion Johnson, a real “Hidden Figure,” Johnson worked as an Associate Engineer, Project Leader, The Boeing Company, during the Apollo missions
  • General Lester Lyles (USAF, Ret.), former Vice Chief of Staff; Commander, Air Force Materiel Command (one of a few Black four-star generals); NASA Advisory Council Chair
  • Stephanie D. Wilson, three-time Space Shuttle astronaut; recently named to the NASA Artemis team training for returning to the moon


The Tribute to Service program is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation. Several organizations have made this program possible: Legacy Bridges STEM Academy, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), and University of Texas at Dallas.


Registration is still available for 2021 AIAA SciTech Forum, here.


Rebecca B. Gray,, 804.397.5270
Yvette Watson, NSBE,, 703.549.2207


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About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.


About NSBE Aerospace SIG
The Aerospace Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE Aerospace SIG) is a strategic technical function within the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a global organization founded in 1975, comprising of more than 24,600 members worldwide. The NSBE Aerospace SIG was started in 2003 with a mission to stimulate active aerospace industry participation by equipping members and partners of all generations with tools to create and innovate aerospace solutions throughout their lifetime. As a platform for aerospace industry-specific technical research, technical development, outreach, and advocacy programming, the NSBE Aerospace SIG provides both a network and pipeline for students and professionals to enter and grow within the aerospace industry. For more information, visit , or follow NSBE Aerospace on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.


SpaceRef staff editor.