CHICAGO, August 1, 2022 — Inducted into the sorority in June 2002, Nichelle Nichols is best known for her portrayal of Lt. Commander Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series. Nichols’s Uhura was an integral part of the multicultural Star Trek cast, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. heralded her as “the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history.” The legendary actress, activist, singer, and dancer was born on December 28, 1932, in Robbins, Illinois, near Chicago., and died of natural causes on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Silver City, New Mexico.
After her television career ended, Nichols pivoted to advocating for a more diverse astronaut corps that included women and other races, culminating in a NASA-funded campaign to recruit the first women and Black astronauts in the 1970s. The efforts of her achievements are featured in the documentary Woman in Motion, which chronicles her four-month campaign to recruit the first Black, Latino, and Asian men and women to fly in space. When asked about her work with NASA and her efforts to diversify careers in STEM, she stated, “Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going. Space travel benefits us here on Earth. And we ain’t stopped yet. There’s more exploration to come.”
“Throughout her life, Nichols challenged us ‘to boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before’ “, said Danette Anthony Reed, International President & CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®. . “Today, we recognize not only Nichols’ accomplishments on camera but also the countless public service activities in which she was involved, from governors’ boards on the National Space Society to promoting and advocating for STEM programs while challenging gender inequities in science and research,” Reed said.
“We extend our deepest prayers and thoughts to the Nichols family and friends, and we will always remember her exemplary service to all humankind, “said Reed.
About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization founded in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha comprises 320,000 members in over 1,046 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Japan, Liberia, and South Korea. Led by International President and CEO Danette Anthony Reed, Alpha Kappa Alpha is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women.” For more information on Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and its programs, visit www.aka1908.com.
Carisma Ramsey Fields
International Media Relations & Production Chairman