New Mary Jackson Center Update

Three years ago during Women’s History Month (March 2017), the members of Local 8888 launched a successful petition drive to have the City of Hampton name a street or public facility for Mary Jackson, the first African American female engineer at Langley Laboratory, who later joined forces with Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn to help put the first American astronaut into space in 1962.

Today, the final design work on the new Mary Jackson Neighborhood Center is complete and bidding on construction of the center will begin soon. It will replace the original Olde Hampton Neighborhood Center. The new center named for Ms. Jackson will feature a full-size gymnasium, a kitchen, meeting rooms, open spaces, and parking. A well-attended neighborhood meeting was held and neighborhood stakeholders gave their approval of the building design.

The late Mary Winston Jackson, who was born and lived in Hampton, broke many barriers during her career as an aerospace engineer. She was one of the three women portrayed as trailblazers (along with Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan) in the 2016 hit movie “Hidden Figures.” She became a role model for other women in the male-dominated space industry, for young girls and college students, especially girls who pursued careers in mathematics, science and engineering. Local 8888 presented its Trailblazer Award to her family in 2017. Her daughter, Carolyn, is married to Raymond Lewis, a trustee of Local 8888.