Congresswoman Nikema Williams, NASA, Spelman College, Work to Increase Diversity in STEM

(ATLANTA) Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) worked with NASA and Spelman College to increase the number of Black women entering the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Joining Congresswoman Williams for the roundtable discussion were: NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy; Spelman College Provost Pamela E. Scott-Johnson, Ph.D.; Spelman College Student Winter Jones; Spelman Faculty Members Na’Taki Jelks, Ph.D.; and Dr. Fatemeh Shafiei, Ph.D.; and Kaiya Murphy Just Energy Associate with Partnership for Southern Equity. The event took place on the campus of Spelman College, the country’s leading Historically Black College for women of African descent. 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) said: 

“Diversity in STEM is the key to finding solutions to our most challenging disparities. Increasing the pipeline of Black women to high-paying STEM careers will also help us close the racial wealth gap. Today’s conversation with NASA and Spelman College to ensure we bring diverse lived experiences, perspectives, and ideas to the STEM workforce.”

NASA Deputy General Administrator Pam Melroy said: 

“At NASA, we explore for the benefit of all humanity, and that starts with protecting our home planet. People around the world are increasingly experiencing extreme weather conditions, and to take action, they need data to understand how Earth is changing. NASA has used the unique vantage point of space for decades to collect and analyze data. Our discussions today were a crucial step towards empowering them to make informed decisions to help combat the effects of climate change.”  

Spelman College Provost Pamela E. Scott-Johnson, Ph.D., said: 

“This is about our ability to be deliberate in how we develop our students. This is a great opportunity for them to choose how they are going to change the world. We appreciate the partnership with Congresswoman Williams and with NASA, because this allows us to be excellent in the ways in which we’ve committed ourselves. Spelman can lead the way in making sure that there is an environmental justice equity lens related to climate science.”

Partnership for Southern Equity Just Energy Associate Kaiya Murphy said: 

“HBCUs are more important than ever and need to be supported. Statistics around Black success specifically have HBCU graduates in the top percentiles in happiness and success. To be taught, exercised, and held accountable by people that reflect your community, in my experience, provided more tangible reward than any amount of technical information.”


Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.


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