I was interviewed on a podcast last week and when we discussed my Black Women in STEM romance novel, Elevated Inferno: Monet's Moment, I had an epiphany that I wanted to share. I named the series "First Responder Fairytales" because the main characters will include firefighters, nurses, policemen, emts, paramedics, doctors, etc. However, the goal of my fictional book series is not so much about the first responders as much as it is about fixing the marketing problem in STEM. The vision and mission is to normalize seeing Black women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics living their regular lives while also finding love and romance. It's to show that MacGyver can also be a Black Woman.
So, here is the light bulb that came on while I was speaking. Since engineers and scientists identify a need or problem in the world and design or devise solutions to address the need or solve the problem, shouldn't they also be considered first responders?
As the world and society become increasingly more global and diverse, we need engineers and scientists to reflect the demographic of the world we will serve. We will solve problems such as safe drinking water, autonomous vehicles, food insecurity, bias in AI, etc, we can also be considered first responders. So let's all normalize seeing STEM professionals as the first responders that they are and then continue the important work of recruiting, retaining and helping Women, Black and Brown professionals to thrive in these spaces. Let's also normalize seeing these BLERDs as more than unicorns or anomalies and just as expected in these spaces as anyone else.
Stay tuned for Book 2 in First Responder Fairytales, "Breaking Point: Jordyn's Journey" coming soon.