Springer Nature actively celebrates and promotes diversity across the entire business. With this commitment, Springer Nature recognizes that Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) are essential to achieving its mission of opening doors to discovery, enabling everyone to contribute their best and thrive. One of the core pillars that underpins the DEI mission are the Springer Nature Employee Networks. The employee networks promote a culture where communities of people connect and empower one another to thrive professionally and share their unique perspectives for the benefit of the organisation as a whole.
In our seventh installment of the series, Devin Williams, Associate Campaign Manager, interviews Maynard Okereke better known as “Hip Hop M.D.”, an award winning Science Communicator with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington Seattle.
Maynard says he “noticed a lack of involvement with minorities and youth in STEM” which prompted him to find a way to connect with these underrepresented groups and make that his ultimate goal of the Hip-hop science platform. Maynard recounted on his upbringing where he was “one of very few minorities” in his classes. He touched on how these experiences became more prevalent as he became older and moved into the workspace, adding that at times, he would enter a room and people would not believe he was the lead scientist or engineer on a project and overlook him and his skills because they had not previously seen a person who looked like him in that position.
This discussion is part of a speaker series hosted by the Black Employee Network at Springer Nature. The series aims to highlight Black contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) a history that has not been widely recognized. It will cover career paths, role models and mentorship, and diversity in STEM.
The extended version of the interview can be found here.
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About Maynard Okereke
Maynard Okereke, better known as the Hip Hop M.D., graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is an award winning Science Communicator, having received both the Asteroid Award for "Best Streaming Content" and the People of Change Award for his community outreach efforts. His passion for science and entertainment, along with his curiosity for new innovation has taken him through an incredible life journey.
Noticing a lack of minority involvement in the S.T.E.M. fields, he created Hip Hop Science with the goal of encouraging minorities and youth to pursue more advanced career paths. His background in engineering, acting, business, and credible work within the music industry as an artist, make him uniquely qualified to engage on a wide variety of topics from an entertaining perspective. This is highly reflected in his weekly vlogs and daily social media posts which provide both humorous and informative #SciComm content.