Nearly 10,000 young women from middle and high schools across Los Angeles County gathered at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center on January 10 for an exclusive screening of Hidden Figures, the hit film from 20th Century Fox that tells the true story of three female African American mathematicians who played crucial roles in the Space Race of the 1960’s. The LA Promise Fund for Public Schools organized the screening, which featured appearances by cast members Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Aldis Hodge, along with producer Pharrell Williams, all of whom spoke about their hope that the Hidden Figures story will inspire more women and women of color to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
“When I first heard what the story was about, which is three African American women who help get our first man into space, I thought it was fiction,” Spencer said during a Q&A with the cast. “When I realized they were real women who made real contributions, which we are still feeling the effects of today, I wanted to be a part of telling their stories so that we will never have people not getting the recognition that they so richly deserve… You are the master of your fate. Remember that.”
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