Creator of GPS, a Black Woman, to be honored at National Center of Women’s Innovations
[VIRGINIA, USA] — Renowned academic leaders, media, and celebrities will gather to embrace Dr. Gladys B. West, the African-American mathematician whose mapping of the world enabled GPS (the global positioning system) used around the world. The newly launched National Center of Women’s Innovations (NCWI) has selected Dr. Gladys B. West, as their inaugural forgotten women innovator who changed the world and will honor her on her 93rd birthday on October 27, 2023, at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, Virginia.
Dr. Lance Collins, Executive Director of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, noted, “I only recently discovered Dr. West and her breathtaking accuracy in measuring the world. How many other Gladys Wests are out there? I salute her amazing accomplishments and the NCWI for shining a light on her and the thousands of other women and minority innovators we have buried. Who knows if the next Dr. Gladys West might cure cancer? Of course, I am proud that Dr. West also is a Virginia Tech alum.”
Dr. Makolah Abdullah, President of Virginia State University, expressed similar pride in Dr. West as a VSU alum. “Of the many VSU graduates who have done spectacular work, none is more outstanding than Dr. Gladys B. West.” These academic leaders and others will attend the Gala to celebrate Dr. Gladys West and NCWI. Deborah Roberts – ABC News 20/20 Co-Host and ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent – will serve as the keynote speaker. BK Fulton – Chairman & CEO of Soulidifly Productions, NCWI Board Member, and Virginia Tech alum – will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Deborah and BK will emphasize the importance of recognizing forgotten women innovators so they can provide inspiration to future generations of young girls and pioneers.
NBC News Anchor Jummy Olabanji will present special Gala awards to leaders helping to bring attention to Dr. West’s inspiring story. Among the notable Gala attendees will be Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s International CEO/President Danette Anthony Reed, along with corporate leaders from Boeing, GE, Dominion Energy, McGuireWoods LLP, and HII, to name a few. “What an honor and privilege to shine a light on those hidden and extraordinary figures like Dr. Gladys B. West who helped change the world. We are grateful for your genius and example,” stated Deborah Roberts.
According to Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO, “To be it, we must see it.” NCWI founder Jane Plitt, comments, “That is exactly why NCWI was created. We are committed to mainstreaming that recognition to inspire girls with our STEM educational modules and interactive mobile exhibits featuring women like Dr. West. Our website — www.womensinnovations.org — captures our vision and our pragmatic plans. NCWI is thrilled that tables of young women have been underwritten to share this historic occasion with them.”