NASITC's Diversity & Information Technology (IT) Knows & News


Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic woman astronaut. Her first mission was the Discovery shuttle in 1993.  Dr. Ochoa also holds several patents including an optic patent used in several areas including robotics and space.

Diversity in history

Military discrimination ended under President Truman.  Truman's order allowed black soldiers to serve in all branches of the military.  Although Truman's Executive Order 9981 in 1948 eliminated discrimination in the military, black soldiers did not reap the benefits of the G.I. bill including housing and education.  The Government Issue (G.I.) bill allowed white soldiers to acquire wealth through home ownership and education.  Limitations in the bill and other legislation gave rise to redlining, ghettos, and the economic disparity still in effect today.

Diverse Words You should Know

Accessibility has many meanings.  For our purposes, accessibility in information technology (IT) describes the availability, functionality, and usability of IT tools without regard to age, economic status, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.   Technology has created new challenges and opportunities as we live, play, and work.  For many, access, function, and usability remains constant.  Information technology (IT) should be equitable and transparent. Bias and homosocial reproduction remain in current and emerging technologies.  If technology is available to everyone, then everyone should benefit from its creation.

So you thought you knew

HeLa - Henrietta Lacks' cancer cells changed cancer research and continue to do so to this day.  Ms. Lacks was a poor black woman stricken with cervical cancer. Her cells did not die but increased in number within 24 hours.  As a result Ms. Lacks' cells are called immortal cells.

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