AIAA and NSBE Aerospace Special Interest Group Present A Tribute to Service: Community, Country, and Humanity

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life serving others. Following his example, millions of Americans serve on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

AIAA and Aerospace Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE Aerospace SIG) will recognize several Americans who exemplify Dr. King’s concept of service and demonstrate the contributions that are possible when people are given the opportunity to serve their community, country, and humanity. AIAA and NSBE Aerospace SIG joined forces with leading non-profit aerospace educational and career development contributors and the following key collaborators to remember Dr. King: Legacy Bridges STEM Academy, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), and The University of Texas at Dallas. The Tribute to Service program is complimentary and open to the public at no charge, registration is required.

AIAA encourages you to take the day away from AIAA 2021 SciTech Forum programming and find a way to enrich your community and give back to others. Take advantage of the following session, or engage with some of the organizations listed below.

 Watch the full event on demand

  • 1000 – 1025
    Focus on Community: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C.

    Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a mainstay of the Black community in Washington, D.C., for nearly 62 years. It stands as a historic example of how a business can serve as a driver of economic development during good times and provide hope and solidarity to a community during hard times.

    Virginia Ali, cofounder of Ben’s Chili Bowl with her late husband, Ben, will share stories about sitting with Dr. King and later with the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama, and share how her restaurant has served as a gathering place for everyone, whether you are homeless or the President of the United States. 

    Ben’s current staff will share a cooking demonstration of some of their specialties.

    MLK Day: A Tribute to Service program and registration
  • 1025 – 1110
    Focus on Humanity: Fireside Chat on Diversity and Inspiration
    Hear from two accomplished Black aerospace and defense leaders, Charles Bolden and Lester Lyles, about their challenges to rise to leadership positions and their personal inspirations. These accomplished public servants will chat with moderator Lindani Johnson, Chief Engineer for NSBE Aerospace SIG. The panelists will share their thoughts on why diversity is essential in today’s workforce, as well as their outlook on the future. Attendees will be invited to interact with these leaders and ask them questions.
  • 1110 – 1145
    Focus on Country: Airing the Documentary, “Red Tail Angels – The Story & Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen”

    Watch the second episode in the documentary series, “Red Tail Angels – The Story & Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.” This series showcases the hardships, struggles and ultimately the successes of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black men given the opportunity to serve as military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps that became the U.S. Air Force.

    The film will be hosted by Joi C. Spraggins, PhD, founder of Legacy Bridges, a NASA-Related Career and Technical STEM Education, Workplace and Workforce Development Innovation Center. Dr. Spraggins also is an AIAA Member.

  • 1145 – 1215
    Focus on Country: Conversation with one of the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen (DOTA), hosted by Joi C. Spraggins, PhD (Dr. Joi®)
    Meet DOTA George E. Hardy, Lt. Col USAF (Retired) who in September 1943 was assigned to the 320th College Training Detachment at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. His group was scheduled to take college-level courses, at Tuskegee Institute, for a period of five months. This training was cut short in the beginning of December, as his group was transferred to Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) for Aviation Cadet training, as part of Class 44-H. In September 1944, DOTA George E. Hardy graduated as a single-engine pilot and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

    Meet, Richard A. Baugh, the Son of DOTA Howard Lee Baugh, Lt. Col., USAF (Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. Lonely Eagle). DOTA Baugh was born in Petersburg, VA on January 20, 1920. He attended public schools in Petersburg and Brooklyn, NY and graduated from Virginia State College (University) in 1941. DOTA Baugh entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet in March 1942. He completed pilot training at Tuskegee Army AirField in November 1942 (Class 42-J-SE) and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. DOTA Howard Baugh, Lt. Col., USAF flew P-51C Mustang Red Tale and had 134 combat missions in WWII.
    • Joi-C-Spraggins Joi C. Spraggins
      CEO, Legacy Bridges STEM Academy, Inc.; AAIA Member, NSBE Life-Time Member 325 and NSBE Aerospace SIG Ambassador for the State of Pennsylvania
  • 1215 – 1230
    Take a Break
    Enjoy a review of community service opportunities to take part in
  • 1230 – 1325
    Focus on Service: Girls Can Fly! Meet Trailblazers in Aerospace and Aviation
    Dr. King believed in the opportunity to provide service. He said, “Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve.” These panelists exemplify King’s call to service. Join the conversation with three Black female panelists who will share their dreams, discuss their service, and look ahead toward their next feats. This industry panel discussion will be moderated by Enanga Daisy Fale, Executive Director of the NSBE Aerospace SIG and the newly appointed Regional Deputy Director of Membership within AIAA.  Attendees will be invited to interact with the panel and submit questions.  
    • Enanga-Daisy-Fale-2023 Enanga Daisy Fâlé
      Sr. Systems Engineering Manager, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Director, Aerospace SIG (ASIG), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
  • 1325 – 1330
    Closing Remarks for the MLK Day Tribute

    The concluding finale to the day’s tribute will be presented by Dexter Johnson, PhD – Engineer, Educator, Entrepreneur, and Minister. Dr. Johnson is the NASA Technical Fellow for Loads and Dynamics, supporting the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. Johnson also is an AIAA Associate Fellow and this year’s recipient of the AIAA Diversity and Inclusion Award, recognizing his significant contributions to advancing diversity and inclusion within the aerospace and astronautics community through his AIAA collaborations with students and industry partners. He extends his expertise through his service as the NSBE Aerospace SIG Aerospace Partnership Director. 


    Dexter-JohnsonDexter Johnson
    Ph.D., NASA Technical Fellow - Loads and Dynamics, AIAA Associate Fellow/Structural Dynamics TC Chair, NSBE Aerospace Special Interest Group/Aerospace Partnership Director

    That's not all we have for MLK Day! Please check out these additional opportunities for service and education | Learn More

Additional Opportunities for Service and Education

Join AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section MLK Day Event, 1000–1300 PST 
The AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section will virtually present "A Day of Celebration in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." to celebrate Dr. King—the man, the minister, and the humanitarian. Join them to commemorate this auspicious day, and enjoy the discussion among African American and other minorities in aerospace/STEM fields, and possibly some readings of Dr. King's words. For more information and to register, visit

Participate in Color A Smile: Meet the Founder and Group Activity, 1400–1500 EST
Color A Smile is a nonprofit organization that distributes cheerful drawings to senior citizens, troops overseas, and anyone in need of a smile. Every month they mail thousands of new drawings. Over the last 30 years, Color A Smile has given out over 1.5 million drawings. That’s a lot of smiles!

Hear more from Jerry Harris, Founder, who started Color A Smile in the early 1980s. Find out how you can get involved, and get coloring! Color A Smile believes everyone has the ability to  help someone else, so get the family together and help others from your home!   View the Recording

Feel free to volunteer on your own time by visiting  Don’t forget to tag #aiaaSciTech and @aiaa to show off how you will make someone smile today!

Learn About Clean the World’s Soap Saves Lives Box
Clean the World’s mission is to save millions of lives around the world through recycling and distribution of soap. Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed more than 54 million bars of soap in 127 countries. Now, more than ever, soap – and your help – is needed to fight COVID-19.

Handwashing with soap is an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Your Soap Saves Lives Box comes packed with everything you need to assemble hygiene kits. It will take roughly one hour for a family of four to put together 50 kits. Take your time and have a fun and engaging experience, you’ll receive a prepaid shipping label and will get to choose the charity to receive your Soap Saves Lives Box. Don’t forget to share pictures and tag #AIAASciTech and @AIAA!

Receive 15% off the Soap Saves Lives Home Packing Party Experience kit by using TA15OFF. To get your Soap Saves Lives Box and find out more information, visit

Volunteer Through Points of Light
At the core of their philosophy is the belief that the most powerful force in the world is the individual who has realized their power to do good. Points of Light inspires, equips, and connects nonprofits, businesses, and individuals ready to apply their time, talent, voice, and resources to solve society’s greatest challenges. Find specific ways to participate and make it a day on, not a day off, during MLK Day. Learn More

Find a Campaign with
As the largest not-for-profit exclusively for young people and social change, DoSomething’s millions of members represent every U.S. area code and 131 countries. Use their digital platform to find a campaign you care about. Learn More

Connect with VolunteerMatch
VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. They make it easy for good people and good causes to connect. Go to their website to find an opportunity that interests you. Learn More

Go Global at Online Volunteering
Through the Online Volunteering service, the United Nations Volunteers program offers a global platform for organizations and online volunteers to connect. It’s an easy-search database of online volunteering opportunities. Learn More

Make Research Possible on Zooniverse
The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers — more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers.  Learn More

MLK Day of Service Sponsor

Presented by
Aerospace Special Interest Group


Executive Sponsor

Lockheed Martin Corporation


Bastion Technologies

AIAA Corporate Partners

The Boeing Company

Northrop Grumman