First African-American female astronaut to speak at Charlotte event

Mae Jemison to speak in Charlotte
Mae Jemison to speak in Charlotte Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council

Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go into space, will be featured speaker at the Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council’s Women of Distinction event Sept. 19 in Charlotte.

The event, held at the Westin Charlotte, recognizes outstanding women who have made significant achievements in expanding the horizon for young girls.

As a NASA astronaut from 1987 to 1993, Jemison made history as the first African American female astronaut on the STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission and was NASA’s first science mission specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.

“At an early age, I was encouraged to explore and develop interests in anthropology, archaeology and astronomy,” said Jemison in a statement.

“Those fields...were and are, to some extent, still male-dominated areas. I wasn’t going to be stopped from chasing my passions. This event is an opportunity for me to share that determination and grit with women of all ages and hopefully leave a mark on young girls that will lead us into the future.”

Jemison’s career started as an Area Peace Corps Medical Officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia, overseeing the health care system for the Peace Corps and State Department, said a statement from the Girl Scouts.

She founded the international science camp The Earth We Share in 1994 for students 12 to 16 years old from around the world. Jemison also leads 100 Year Starship, an initiative (seed funded by the Department of Defense’s Defense) devoted to preparing for interstellar space travel within the next century.

The luncheon is Tuesday, Sept. 19, noon to 1:30 p.m. at The Westin Charlotte. For details, visit http://www.hngirlscouts.org/.