Only 18 Black Women Possess Astrophysics Doctorates. This Woman Wants to Change That

Jedidah Isler said she dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was 12 years old. However, by being a young black woman, she quickly learned that the odds were not in her favor. At the time, only 18 black women in the United States had earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline, according the Isler.

In a TED Talk, Isler shares her journey of overcoming discrimination and becoming the first black woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale.

“To any woman or girl who finds herself resting at the intersection of race and gender, that you can be anything you want to be,” Isler said. “Do not think for one minute that because you are who you are, you cannot be who you imagine yourself to be.”