The Pioneering Black Sci-Fi Writer Behind the Original Wakanda

MIT rarely allows Hollywood films to be shot on their campus. So it was a surprise when an email went out in 2021, alerting students that a film titled Summer Break would be filming at the school. Turns out, this was the working title of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

But something else was special about Wakanda Forever’s filming location. The MIT scenes were shot a stone’s throw from where, a century before, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins worked at the Institute. Hopkins is credited with inventing the setting that eventually became Wakanda in her science fiction, but her name isn’t widely known.

“She was a powerhouse, an innovator and an intellectual dynamo.”

What Our Primate Ancestors Can Teach Us About Dismantling the Patriarchy: The Ms. Q&A with Diane Rosenfeld

A new book shines an intriguing new light on the possibilities for alliances among women in the ongoing struggle to end men’s violence against women by examining the social organization of one of our closest primate relatives. In The Bonobo Sisterhood, Harvard Law School professor Diane Rosenfeld shows how we have much to learn from the bonobos about how to eliminate male sexual coercion.  

“Patriarchy is not inevitable; the bonobos are living proof of that.”

Join Ms. and Learn to Take Charge of Your Own Reproductive Healthcare

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about birth control, including things your doctor might not even know.

This free conversation will feature Dr. Sophia Yen, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, the only women-founded and women-led birth control delivery and telemedicine company. Yen will outline everything she thinks we need to know about birth control, emergency contraception, periods, abortions pills and more. (This event is back by popular demand!)

Demystifying Cyber: Tennisha Martin, the Ethical Hacker Who Founded BlackGirlsHack

It will take a paradigm shift to defend our national security moving forward. Women and people of color should be at the forefront of this effort. Demystifying Cybersecurity drives a critical conversation on race in the cybersecurity industry, and shining a light on Black experts in their fields.

This month: Tennisha Martin, the executive director and founder of BlackGirlsHack, a national cybersecurity nonprofit dedicated to providing education and resources to underserved communities and increasing diversity in cybersecurity.

From the Vault: ‘Math Anxiety’ by Sheila Tobias (1976)

In 1976, in the pages of Ms. magazine, Sheila Tobias explored the topic of “math anxiety:” the tendency of women to avoid mathematics as it became more difficult, which stemmed, in part, from gender roles in academia.

“A culture that makes math ability a masculine attribute, that punishes women for doing well in math, and that soothes the slower math learner by telling her she does not have a ‘mathematical mind.'”

With SisterMentors, Dr. Shireen Lewis Is Building a Fierce Future for Women and Girls of Color in Education

Two decades ago, Ms. had the honor of interviewing the founder of SisterMentors, Dr. Shireen Lewis, in its Summer 2000 issue—and here we are again, just as SisterMentors celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Lewis has dedicated her entire professional life to creating and growing SisterMentors, a nonprofit organization that helps women and girls of color in the education system. Through her work, she is empowering young women and girls of color to overcome deep-seated institutional inequities in the education system.

“I see Black and Brown women and girls as having a major role to play in helping to save the world. And we’re not just talking academia, but leaders in the public and the private sector.”

ICYMI: ‘Everything You Need to Know About Birth Control’ with Dr. Sophia Yen

In this time of crisis, Dr. Sophia Yen says it’s essential we take charge of our own reproductive health. Yen is the CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, the only doctor-led and women-founded and -led birth control delivery company. She is a board-certified physician with a focus in adolescent medicine, and serves as a clinical associate professor at Stanford Medical School in the Department of Pediatrics.

In a Ms. webinar on Tuesday, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Birth Control,” Yen broke down the best forms of birth control and emergency contraception, why you should consider skipping your period, how to get abortion pills (even if you live in a state with a ban), and more.

Overturning Roe Will Exacerbate the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis. It’s Time for Our Leaders To Act

Black women’s health and bodily autonomy have been under consistent, unrelenting attack for centuries, a reality that holds true today. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny millions of people the constitutional right to abortion is expected to disproportionately hurt Black women. Policies that seek to improve Black maternal health must necessarily include policies that expand access to abortion care.

Demystifying Cyber: Cybersecurity Should Be on Everyone’s Radar, Says Congressional Staffer Hope Goins

Demystifying Cybersecurity highlights the experiences of Black practitioners, driving a critical conversation on race in the cybersecurity industry, and shining a light on Black experts in their fields.

This month, we spoke with Hope Goins, the majority staff director of the U.S. Committee on Homeland Security, about how cybersecurity affects everyone. “We need to find ways to make people realize the practical application of cybersecurity to their lives—from ensuring that children consume information via secure platforms to understanding how utilities like water and energy can be impacted by poor security.”

Cecilia Aragon: Women in Data Science Breaking Down Binaries and Taking a Human-Centered Approach

While the total number of women receiving college degrees increases, what hinders the expansion of diversity in the data science field? To address this persistent gap, women working in the fields that feed into data science have been working to change the circumstances that hinders women from pursuing work in the field, as well urging society to consider the harmful consequences of a field which has historically excluded the voices of women.

Dr. Cecilia Aragon is a major contributor to these ongoing discussions. She is an award-winning author, airshow pilot and professor—the first Latina to earn the rank of full professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Washington in its 100-year history. Her interdisciplinary methods, active inclusion of diverse students with diverse academic backgrounds, and perceptive research questions, all challenge the traditional expectations of data scientists and question the false assumptions of data science.