We’re kicking off Black History Month celebrating the late Walter Lincoln Hawkins. In 1942, Dr. Hawkins became the first African American scientist for AT&T Bell Labs and was a champion for STEM education and employment opportunities for women and people of color.

Dr. Hawkins helped make universal telephone service a reality by developing a durable plastic coating to cover communications cables, to withstand extreme changes in temperature. Dr. Hawkins also became an expert in recycling plastics and held 18 U.S. and 129 foreign patents.

In 1975, Dr. Hawkins became the first African American engineer to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Hawkins received the National Medal of Technology from President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2010.

Today and everyday, the Fashion Innovation Alliance celebrates the lives of past, present and future leaders in art, design, science and technology. We invite you to stay connected with us throughout the year as we continue to work with diverse visionaries from around the globe.

Image: National Inventors Hall of Fame

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