Campus News

Howard Celebrates Diversity in Aviation With ‘We Fly Too’ Event 

The Air Force hopes to attract more minorities to aviation.

by N'dia Webb
We Fly Too event

Howard University recently hosted an event to help inspire the next generation of Black men and women in aviation. Taking place in the William H. Greene Stadium on April 30, the “We Fly Too: Celebrating Diversity in Aviation” event was primarily led by the U.S. Air Force, and featured flight demonstrations by pilots currently serving. 

The event included a fireside chat with President Wayne A. I. Frederick and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and was followed by a Q&A with active-duty Air Force pilots, a women-in-aviation panel, and a panel on diversity and the future of aerospace. 

“I wanted to land on Howard’s field … I wanted to also figure out a way to get back to my Alma Mater and really tell folks about the magic of aviation,” Howard alum and First Lt. Dontae Bell (BA ’18) said in a webinar with Private Air Media Group. 

“We Fly Too” showcased aviation from Air Force First Helicopter Squadron UH-1N “Huey” and the D.C. Air National Guard’s UH-72 Lakota. Venice Beach, California-based XR developer Specular Theory also demonstrated its KC-135 Stratotanker trainer designed for the 97th OG at Atlas Air Force Base. 

Prior to the event’s close, junior international affairs major Isabella Mollison learned that she received her undergraduate pilot training recognition, meaning that once she graduates from Howard, she will be able to begin pilot training with the Air Force. This news was a surprise to her, and she expressed gratitude for the experience in an interview with Howard

As of 2019, 86.4% of aircraft pilots and flights engineers in the U.S. are white, and 94.2% are male, according to DataUSA via Census Bureau. “I wish that more people from Howard knew about this and knew how amazing this opportunity was,” Bell said at the event. “I want to see more Black people, more Black men and women, fly.” 

To learn more about encouraging diversity in aviation and see future “We Fly Too” events, follow #WeFlyToo on Twitter and Instagram.  

This story appears in the Spring/ Summer 2022 issue.

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