Black Science Matters

#BlackScienceMatters is a series of eight short films produced by University of Illinois students under the leadership of journalism professor Charles "Stretch" Ledford, and brought to a wider audience by Illinois Public Media. 

Illustration by Kaixing Ding

In the series, U of I journalism students examine a pervasive national issue through the lens of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community: the severe underrepresentation of African-Americans in the sciences. Illinois Public Media now brings these videos to a wider audience via our broadcast platforms. Viewers first saw the videos one at a time on IPM's Facebook page; now they're available on WILL-TV as interstitial video, via IPM's online video portal, via over-the-top devices (AppleTV, Roku, etc) using the PBS app, and right here. The order here is the order in which the videos were released on Facebook. 

Visit the main #BlackScienceMatters website here, and follow #BlackScienceMatters on Twitter (@BlkScienceMatrs) and Instagram (@blacksciencematters). 

 

BOOTED, THEN BACK
Poor grades forced University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign undergraduate Temitayo Ade-Oshifogun out of the College of Engineering. The mentorship of a college dean led to Ade-Oshifogun earning all A's at another university and eventually a degree in electrical engineering from Illinois. (Produced by UIUC journalism student Christine La)

 

A BLACK FEMALE PHD: STILL A NOVELTY IN 2015
In May 2015, Yemaya Bordain became the first black woman to earn a PhD in electrical and computer engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bordain, now an engineer at Intel, describes her experience as the only black woman in her department. (Produced by UIUC journalism student Eli Murray)

 

A DROP IN THE DESERT
Shareefah Williams, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering undergraduate, tells how the National Society of Black Engineers provides nurturing and mentorship to students of color at Illinois and nationwide. (Produced by UIUC journalism student Teryn Payne)

 

IF NOT HERE, THEN WHERE?
Chineze Ifeoma Okosi, an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explains her belief that a diverse campus is not necessarily an inclusive campus. (Produced by UIUC journalism student Tyler Davis)

 

AGAINST THE ODDS
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign industrial engineering major Kyra Grant shares a moment when she realizes that "it's not a bad thing to always be the only black face in the crowd. (Produced by UIUC journalism student Christine La)
 

 

I QUIT
Jeremy Clayborn was an engineering student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When experience on a summer internship caused him to realize that he is "not an engineer" he quit school to pursue his dream - a career in music.
(Produced by UIUC journalism student Ava Kelley and UIUC industrial engineering student Griffin Tucker)

 

DO THE RIGHT THING
Two deans of University of the Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering discuss what Illinois is doing right, and what it could do better, as a thought leader facing this pervasive national problem. (Produced by UIUC Journalism student Tyler Davis)

 

BUILDING A PIPELINE
Through outreach to local elementary schools in Urbana-Champaign, the University of Illinois' St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy demonstrates one possible, yet partial, way to widen the narrow pipeline of young black students entering the sciences. (Produced by UIUC journalism student Taylor Lucero)

WILL Highlights

Support public media that makes a difference in our community 


Tune in for the Christmas Masterclass Dec. 8 on WILL-TV. 


A comedic musical extravaganza Dec 22 on WILL-TV