Newsletter Header graphic
A Letter from Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno

To celebrate Black History Month in February, I invited students from South Plainfield High School to a screening of the 2017 Academy Award Best Picture nominated film, Hidden Figures.  I was also proud to be joined by Secretary of Higher Education, Rochelle Hendricks, local officials, and representatives from my staff.

Hidden Figures is the story of three brilliant African-American women, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, who served as the brains leading to one of the greatest operations in history — the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962.

Unfortunately, their stories have been largely untold — until now.  Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of the book, Hidden Figures, which led to this film, recognized the achievements of these ordinary, yet extraordinary, African American women.  Growing up, she knew these women as her Sunday school teachers, Girl Scout troop leaders, and next door neighbors.  However, as her book and this movie highlight, these women were also leading the way professionally, crossing all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.  Their stories represent an essential part of our history and understanding of some of the tensest moments of the Cold War — when the push to enter space was immense.

Margot Lee Shetterly sums up her own story best by noting, “We think of history as being these huge figures — George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Martin Luther King…but history is the sum total of what all of us do on a daily basis…and these small actions …in some ways are more important or certainly as important, as the individual actions by these towering figures.”

After the screening, I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a “Stand up for STEM” Award to Dr. Nannette Wright of Lockheed Martin for her inspirational work to encourage and mentor young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  The actions of women like Nanette Wright and Katharine Johnson are a reminder to us all to take the small, but important steps that make a difference in our own lives and the community around us. 


Kim Guadagno
Lt. Governor


Tamekia Grier-DuPiche, Assistant Principal of South Plainfield Middle School, joins the Lt. Governor in presenting Dr. Nannette Wright the “Stand up for STEM” award for her inspirational work to encourage and mentor young women to pursue careers in STEM.
Department of State’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemorative: 1/16/17

Showing of Hidden Figures with South Plainfield High School: 2/21/17

Department of State’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemorative: 1/16/17

Showing of Hidden Figures with South Plainfield High School: 2/21/17
 
see full season link see full season link see full season link