Three brilliant African-American women at NASA—Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
The films will be followed by a short discussion on the overall themes and subject matter of each film. Popcorn and beverages will be provided at each screening.
Victor Chen is a sociologist and an assistant professor at VCU. His work examines inequality and social stratification, work and labor markets, as well as poverty and social mobility. His most recent book, Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy, provides a vivid account of the experiences of auto workers as changes in the economy made well-paid assembly line jobs harder to find. Chen’s work has been featured in various news outlets, including the Atlantic, New York Times, NPR, and BBC News.
Rosalyn Hobson Hargraves is Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and associate professor at VCU with appointments in the School of Engineering and the School of Education. Her research has spanned varying topics including diversity, inclusion, and equity in higher education, STEM-H education, international development STEM activities, and biomedical signal/image processing. During her career she has also focused on inspiring underrepresented students in STEM fields. In 2015, she was honored at VCU’s Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment ceremony with both the faculty award as well as the Riese-Melton Award — the top recognition given at the annual event — for her efforts to make VCU a diverse and inclusive community.
Emilie Raymond is a historian and an associate professor at VCU. She specializes in 20th century American politics and culture. Her work focuses on Hollywood and politics, as well as the influence of the civil rights movement, women’s activism, and conservatism in American life. She is the author of 'From My Cold, Dead Hands': Charlton Heston and American Politics and Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement. Professor Raymond is also the director of the annual VCU Southern Film Festival.
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