Honoring a ‘Hidden Figure’: NASA to Unveil the Mary W. Jackson Headquarters Building

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Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer at NASA, began her career with the agency in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The mathematician and aerospace engineer went on to lead programs influencing the hiring and promotion of women in NASA’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. In 2019, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously.

Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk will lead a ceremony at 1 p.m. EST Friday, Feb 26, officially naming the NASA Headquarters building in Washington in honor of Mary W. Jackson.

The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website and will stream live on the agency’s flagship social media accounts. and the NASA app.

In addition to unveiling a building sign with Jackson’s name, the event will feature video tributes with reflections on Jackson’s career and legacy from current and former NASA employees and astronauts, celebrities, elected officials and others. The event will also feature a video of poet Nikki Giovanni reading an excerpt from her poem “Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea,” which is about space and civil rights.

Music: “My One and Only”/Universal Production Music