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The Links honor hidden figures of Black History

Calls for participants in Race to Equality Challenge

Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer for NASA, at work in 1977 at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The local chapter of the Links, Incorporated is paying tribute to the achievements of “Hidden Figures” of Black history as part of its annual Race to Equality 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and 135 mile challenge scholarship drive. PHOTO COURTESY NASA

The Portland chapter of The Links, Incorporated, a not-for-profit organization committed to enhancing the quality of life in our community, is paying tribute to the “Hidden Figures” behind NASA’s first Black female engineers, as part of its annual scholarship drive during Black History Month.

The chapter’s third annual Race to Equality 5K, 10K, Half Marathon & 135 Mile Challenge brings awareness to racial inequality while raising funds to support scholarships to the local African American community.

Following World War II, America’s cold war with Russia heated up and the space race began. Behind the scenes were many women of color. These “Hidden Figures” were recently made famous by a book and subsequent movie of the same name, paving the way for many first achievements for Women in Science, especially women of color.

“Please support our mission of providing educational scholarships to local youth of color while focusing on your health and fitness, something critical during a global health crisis,” said a statement from the group.

You’re invited to run, bike, or walk up to 135 miles to honor the dedication and sacrifice of these pioneering NASA Black women who were fearless in their pursuit of a better life, recognition within the science community and equality for women in the workplace.

Each runner or walker will receive an official Race to Equality finishers’ technical shirt, a medal, a buff and swag bag. The cost is $55, with $10 donated to the Portland Chapter of Links to support education and provide scholarships to local young adults of color in Portland and Vancouver.

Overall and age group awards will be provided to top finishers and all runners/walkers will receive a finishers’ certificate. For more details and to sign up, visit

In Vancouver, you can also can pickup Race to Equality packets on Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Foot Traffic Vancouver, 305 S.E. Chkalov Drive, Suite #122, or from the Why Racing Events Warehouse, 1108 N.E. 146th Street, Suite J, Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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