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A free week-long webinar series by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center, November 16-20, 2020

Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives

A free week-long webinar series

Convened by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center

November 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, 2020 | 1:00-2:30pm ET daily






The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation invites you to attend our upcoming webinar series, Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives. The program is free and open to the public and will convene daily November 16–20, 2020 from 1:00-2:30pm ET. This week-long program will draw renewed attention to historic and contemporary inventors of color and Black technology consumers, while discussing strategies for building a more equitable innovation ecosystem. Through presentations by an interdisciplinary group of thought leaders and engaged discussions with our online audience, this “state of the field” workshop will identify critical questions, seek out new case studies, and articulate theories, concepts and themes to inform the next generation of research, archival collecting, museum exhibitions, and invention education initiatives.



Rayvon Fouché, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University

Lisa D. Cook, Professor of Economics and International Relations, Michigan State University

Moderator: Cathleen S. Lewis, Curator, Space History Department, National Air and Space Museum



Amy E. Slaton, Professor, Department of History, Drexel University

James Holly, Jr., Assistant Professor of Urban Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics Education, Wayne State University

Moderator: Yolanda L. Comedy, Science and Technology Policy Consultant



Tyrone Grandison, Chief Technology Officer, Pearl Long Term Care Solutions

Tahira Reid Smith, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Moderator: Monica M. Smith, Head of Exhibitions and Interpretation, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History



Kara W. Swanson, Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History, Northeastern University

Shontavia Johnson, Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Clemson University

Moderator: Crystal Marie Moten, Curator of African American History, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History



Charlton McIlwain, Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, New York University

André Brock, Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Tech

Moderator: Eric S. Hintz, Historian, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History


Accessibility: The National Museum of American History welcomes visitors of all ages and abilities. Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided for our online program. For other questions about accessibility, please email

Our Sponsor: The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center gratefully acknowledges The Lemelson Foundation for its generous support of the Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives webinar series.




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