Dr. Oneeka Williams on Her Journey to Advocate for STEM Careers
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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You talked about having a passion for giving back and helping others. This book seems to be a way to do that. Talk more about your book and the inspiration in writing it.

By the time girls of color get to middle school … there’s a perception that’s already been established that girls aren’t good at math and already this worldview, whether it’s [attributed to] the media, stereotypes or [challenges with] how to integrate and interface with teachers in the school system.

Studies have shown that when you ask a [young] girl to draw what a scientist looks like, they draws a white man with a white coat and glasses. They already have this perspective that this is not what we do. We have to shift the perspective and belief system of our kids from the time they can be read to, and if we create a framework where we are imprinting on them that you can excel at science and math and show them characters who look like them, this creates a role model that says this is not extraordinary or unusual, this is something that you can do that is enjoyable.

It’s one opportunity to give them another way of looking at themselves and the world of science. [This project] has allowed me to make an impact on all of these with the intent to help to motivate a generation of kids who believe in themselves and see powerful images. I am in constant belief that our kids are powerful and that they will respond when we challenge them. We have to believe their potential.

Learn more about Dr. Williams’ books and the ambitious star of the series Dr. Dee Dee, below:

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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