Botwc Firsts

Monifa Phillips Becomes First Black Woman to Earn a PhD in Physics from the University of Glasgow

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Monifa Phillips Becomes First Black Woman to Earn a PhD in Physics from the University of Glasgow

Despite conversations around the need for more diversity in STEM, data shows that women, particularly Black women, still lack representation in the field.  Helping to shatter the glass ceiling in a male-dominated industry is Monifa Phillips who just became the first Black woman to earn a PhD in physics from the University of Glasgow.  On June 30, Phillips tweeted about her accomplishment along with a picture of her in her graduation gown.  “This week, I was the very first Black woman to graduate from the Uni of Glasglow with a PhD in Physics,” she wrote. “I’m a proud Black British...

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Alphonso David Becomes First African-American President of the Human Rights Campaign

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Alphonso David Becomes First African-American President of the Human Rights Campaign

For the first time in its 40-year history, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, has appointed an African-American president.  The Grio reports that civil rights lawyer Alphonso David will become the organization’s next president. He will replace Chad Griffin, who has served as president since 2012.  In a video released by HRC, David expresses how he will fight for the equality of everyone and will “tenaciously defend the most vulnerable among us.” In the past, HRC has been accused of not prioritizing the needs and concerns of people of color within the LGBTQ community, but many...

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Brianna Mason Becomes First Black Woman Crowned Miss Tennessee

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Brianna Mason Becomes First Black Woman Crowned Miss Tennessee

Black beauty queens continue to break barriers this pageant cycle! On Saturday night, Brianna Mason was crowned Miss Tennessee, becoming the first African-American woman to win the title since the competition began a little over 80 years ago.  Following her win, Mason, who competed four times before winning, shared what the capturing the title meant to her. "I can't even put into words how special that is, and I knew I was going to be emotional when thinking about this, but like I said I've been competing for so long, and there's a Miss Tennessee room with portraits of all...

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She Just Became the First Black Woman to Complete Neurosurgery Residency at Baylor College of Medicine

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She Just Became the First Black Woman to Complete Neurosurgery Residency at Baylor College of Medicine

Whether you call it Black girl magic, Black excellence or just pure grit, Dr. Venita Simpson has it! This past weekend she became the first Black woman to complete Neurosurgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine since the program began in 1956. While Simpson didn’t expect to make history, she has envisioned herself as a doctor since she was a little girl. “I was inspired to go into medicine since I was seven-years-old after I had surgery. I was just amazed at all the gadgets in the hospital. I fell in love with Neurosurgery after witnessing Deep Brain Stimulation for...

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She Just Made History as the First Black Editor-in-Chief of Law Review at Houston’s Oldest Law School

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She Just Made History as the First Black Editor-in-Chief of Law Review at Houston’s Oldest Law School

Kenesha Starling recently became the first Black Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Review. Her historic achievement at Houston’s oldest law school has undoubtedly shattered a glass ceiling that has been in place since the school was established in 1923. “There is a lot of pressure that comes with being the first in anything because people see you as a role model,” she said in an interview with the school. “They wonder if you’ll fall into a certain stereotype or be better or worse than your predecessors. Most of all, you must do your best, more for those coming behind you...

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