Author of ‘Hidden Figures’ Margot Lee Shetterly to Speak at Bridgewater College

headshot of Margot Shetterly

Writer, researcher and entrepreneur Margot Lee Shetterly will deliver the keynote address for Bridgewater College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Cole Hall on the College’s campus. Shetterly’s address, “The Importance of Representation and Racial Progress,” is free and open to the public.

Shetterly is the author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, which was a top book of 2016 for both TIME and Publisher’s Weekly, a USA Today bestseller, and a #1 New York Times bestseller.

A powerful exploration of early intersectionality in the workplace—Hidden Figures reveals what day-to-day life was like for Black women pursuing their dreams in the Civil Rights Era. Shetterly explores the barriers they had to break, the supporters along the way, and how they really felt through it all.

The 2016 film adaptation of her book stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Octavia Spencer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Shetterly is also the founder of the Human Computer Project, a digital archive telling the stories of all NASA’s “Human Computers,” women from all backgrounds whose work tipped the balance in favor of the United States in WWII, the Cold War and the Space Race. Shetterly’s father was among the early generation of black NASA engineers and scientists, and she had direct access to NASA executives and the women featured in the book. She grew up around the historically black Hampton University, where some of the women in Hidden Figures studied.

Shetterly’s research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She is currently a scholar-in-residence at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments at the McIntire School of Commerce and the School of Engineering.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7:30 p.m. The format for the event is a traditional lecture. Attendees will have an opportunity for a book signing with Shetterly from 8:30 to 9 p.m. A livestream of the event will be available at

This endowed lecture is sponsored by the W. Harold Row Symposium on Reconciliation.

Media Contact:
Abbie Parkhurst
Vice President of Marketing and Communications