Dr. Raven Baxter is paving the way for a brighter future for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The molecular biologist — also known as Dr. Raven the Science Maven — embraces various mediums such as content creation, education, and music to spread awareness with hopes to foster creative thinking and create an inclusive space for students.
Baxter’s purpose work stemmed from the lack of representation and mentorship for the Black community. The scientist made it her mission to create a better experience for those to follow, which is why she launched STEMbassy in 2020 — a science advocacy organization and web series that encourages Black voices to combine STEM topics with real-life situations.
“What inspired me was the lack of representation I was seeing when it came to people like myself having a voice in the industry. I founded STEMbassy to create a place where people from all fields can gather to talk about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the context of politics, culture, and social issues,” Baxter told AfroTech in an email interview.
Baxter also created a platform gearing toward mentorship for women of color to spark their excitement surrounding STEM topics and spearhead opportunities to engage with the science community. The Black in Science Communication organization accomplishes Baxter’s goal to house Black science communicators while providing an avenue to engage, grow, and educate the future generation.
“Having support and guidance from someone who looks like you is the most encouraging form of mentorship for younger generations,” Baxter told AfroTech.
Baxter Partners With OLAY To Empower Women Of Color
More recently, Raven Baxter’s efforts have been amplified by skincare brand OLAY through a new partnership to tackle the gender gap in STEM.
“I am beyond thrilled to be working with OLAY because of their commitment to #FaceTheSTEMGap by helping to double the number of women and TRIPLE the number of women of color in STEM by 2030. Any organization that has a clear ambition to do better for the Black community is considered an extremely meaningful partnership in my eyes,” she said.
OLAY has announced four new initiatives to support Black women’s ventures in STEM. It kicked off Black History Month through a commemorative print issue published by EBONY spotlighting women leaders in STEM spearheading change. It also announced the first known Native American woman engineer Mary Golda Ross will be memorialized in Oklahoma to remind young girls they too can #FaceAnything.
A statement from The Mary Golda Ross Trust:
“This statue will remind the public of what is possible when they believe in themselves, and push to break through glass ceilings. As a Cherokee from Park Hill, Oklahoma, Mary broke through societal stereotypes to help pave the way for others to follow. We are pleased that the home of the statue will be the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where our history lives.”
OLAY will continue to jumpstart more futures of women leaders by providing mentorship to high school girls interested in STEM.
In addition, OLAY launched a space-themed limited-edition jar of moisturizer. It hopes young girls will recognize there are various avenues of opportunities to become successful in STEM and follow their passion.