HBCU alumnus leading the Webb telescope into deep space


Greg Robinson, Director, James Webb Space Telescope in the NASA Science Missions Directorate, gives the inside view of the $10 billion project as the Virgnia Union and  Howard University alumnus gives the Roy L. Clay Technology Pinnacle speech during Innovation&Equity21: 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology on Jan. 15, 2022, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther

Yolanda Richardson, Secretary of the California Government Operations Agency, gives an update of the impact of the COVID-19 spread among Black Californians.  She was named the nation’s top public administrator for her work as czar of the state’s pandemic response.

Robert Pittman, Chief Information Security Officer of San Bernardino County and author of a book on cyberprotection, leads a powerpacked panel on protecting cyberspace.

Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi, Chief Operating Officer, 3 Degrees Group, leading a discussion of meaningful engagement in environment and land use.

Drs. Eddilisa and Marcus Martin, Founders, 2M Clinical, among a group of African-American health innovators

Dr. Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College, describes how to increase Black science impact through HBCUs

The 21st annual 50 Most includes nine other NASA officials, impacting every phase of the nation’s space program. 

-Karla Smith Jackson, Assistant Administrator for Procurement

Clayton Turner, Director, Langley Space Center (site for the movie “HIdden Figures”)

Marcus Watkins, Director, Office of Jet Propulsion Lab Management and Oversight

Gen. Lester Lyles (USAF, RET) Chair, Space Advisory Board

Vanessa E. Wyche, Director, Johnson Space Center

Kelvin Manning, Deputy Director, John F. Kennedy Space Center

Barbara L. Brown, Director, Exploration Research and Technology Programs

Tamiko Fletcher, CISO, Kennedy Space Center

Dr. Christyl Johnson, Deputy Director, Technology and Research Investments, Goddard Space Center

Following the Freedom Riders of the Cutting Edge

Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame member Roy L. Clay, now in his 90s, got his first job as a programmer in 1956 as a direct result of the Montgomery bus and Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court rulings and programmed the first computers for McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis and Lawrence Radiation Lab in California.

The Technology Pinnacle Awards go to Robinson, Gen. C.Q. Brown, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and Shawnzia Thomas, Executive Director of the Georgia Technology Authority and Georgia State Chief Information Officer.  Late registration is at blackmoney.com/innovationequity21

One of the major purposes of the 50 Most is to inspire new generations to technology and science careers, achieving a 40 percent increase for Blacks in technology over the past 21 years from 400,000 to 560,000.    

Another selectee, Jeffrey Devine, CEO of San Diego-based Devine Consulting, showed his work on the Sophia aerial telescope for NASA to Civic Center Secondary School students in San Francisco in November and will host them at Ames Space Flight Center in 2022.  Devine began programming at age nine in Compton, CA.  

Innovation&Equity21 will be broadcast to schools subscribing to ReUNION: Education-Arts-Heritage, the African-American children’s instructional channel.  The event begins a seven week Season of Science with weekly programs on African-American innovators and the 14th annual Come to the Water Black history course highlighting the California African-American Freedom Trail.  A second in-person event to present awards to the honorees on March 5, Black American Day in California to mark the martyrdom of Crispus Attucks, will feature African-American chefs, brewers and vintners plus a Black history sea cruise with entertainment by Lea Sweet, the Black Queen of Country Music.

This year’s program also includes the second annual BlackBio100, the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Infrastructure and the blackmoney.com Top Dealmakers  Innovation&Equity21 is the annual scientific proceeding of the monthly Journal of Black Innovation and part of the year-round programming of the Dr. T. Nathaniel Burbridge Center for Inclusive Innovation.

Other notables include former Lowell High quarterback Thomas W. Mitchell, a Texas A&M law professor presented the McArthur genius grant in 2021 and Stanford professor Dr. Aida Habtezion, who took leave in 2021 to become chief medical officer of Pfizer, the leading worldwide firm in pandemic response.

ten to a billion: ujaama at work

At age 40, Nicholas Perkins 

completed the purchase of

Fuddruckers, the first

nationwide chain owned

by an African-American.

Just in his 30s, Freddie Figgers Sr. is on his fourth model smart phone, the DragonX, with a n array of other consumer electronics products and nationwide wireless service. To make a real statement for Kwanzaa, free your phone with a wizard of Black economnc development.

Detecting Infection.

Derek Peterson went to work immediately after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and put a walk-through respiratory disease scanner on the market that summer with more than 90 percent efficiency. Movingh forward, every building will need a SymptomSense

She did it her way to make a nationwide diagnostic test powerhouse that responded to Black communities

Twenty four years ago, Colleen Payne-Nabors opened MCI Diagnostic to perform more than 2,000 tests, but none more important than when she began offering wakup COVID-19 tests in early March 2020.  She’s been on the ground in 17 states at churches, HBCUs, community-based organizations

Medicines from Nature

Pharmaceutical maker Aphios in Woburn, MA fufills the goal of Dr. Trevor Castor to make medicines from natural products

A century of service

Atlanta City Council Recognizes Citizens Trust Bank for 100 years in the CommunityLeft to right: Farrand Logan, Citizens Trust Bank, H. Jerome Russell, Jr., Citizens Bancshares Corporation, Matt Westmoreland, Atlanta City Council, Cynthia N. Day, President & CEO Citizens Trust Bank, Frederick Daniels, Jr., Jason Eppenger, and Samuel Cox, Citizens Trust Bank.

TV One founders in Cablefax Hall of Fame

RadioOne Founder Catherine Liggins Hughes and TVOne CEO Alread Liggins were indcuted in December 2021 for their work in diversifying cable televison. The portfolio includes radio stations, syndication, TVOne and CleoTV

Bringing Equity to Clinical Research and Policy Analysis

Drs. Eddilisa and MArcus Martin are the founders of 2M Research, which holds contracts with more than 40 federal agencies and just lanuched neighborhoodtrials.com to foster clinical trial diversity.

Kelly Road Builders and Kelly Natural Gas Pipelines

Birmingham based construction firm active in nine states