Celebrating Black History in Tangible Ways
It is a shame that February, the shortest month of the year, is also the month we celebrate Black History, and the myriad contributions from Black and African Americans across the country and around the globe. Black inventors are responsible for some of our most valued and often used amenities, including the three-light stoplight (Garrett Morgan; Patent No. 1,475,074), refrigerated trucks (Frederic McKinley Jones, U.S. Patent 2,780,923), automatic elevator doors (Alexander Miles; U.S. Patent 371,207), the home security system (Mary Van Britten Brown, U.S. Patent 3,482,037), and more. Born enslaved, Sarah Boone was the first Black woman to receive a patent (U.S. Patent 473,563) in 1892 for creating the “improved” ironing boards we use today. (The original ironing board design was patented by Elijah McCoy, a prolific Black innovator and rumored namesake of the phrase “the real McCoy”.) In the centuries since, Black women and men have developed countless solutions that improve our lives, often while facing racism and societal prejudices in their own.
At InterDigital, we are committed to supporting innovation and excellence in all communities. It is this spirit that moves us forward and makes our lives boundless. That’s why we are so proud of our partnership with Delaware State University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) centering STEM education and fostering the next generation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPoC) engineers, scientists, and innovators.
InterDigital and Delaware State University teams mark partnership in 2015
Delaware State University students using new training lab facilities
Leveraging funds from InterDigital’s $300,000 grant to the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology in 2015, Delaware State University has established a cutting edge wireless communications training lab in InterDigital’s honor, and to-date has trained more than 300 undergraduate and graduate engineering and computer science students and provided vital infrastructure for teaching professors and faculty. What began as a grant to equip young people with resources to become engineers and business leaders has produced a valuable training lab serving the Black and brown creators and innovators of tomorrow.
Please stay tuned for more information about InterDigital’s partnership with Delaware State University, and other expressions of our commitments to make life boundless. We hope you had a happy Black History Month and celebrate with us these accolades and innovations every day.