Eyes Open #16


Welcome to the latest puzzle in my ongoing series, Eyes Open, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights protests.

It was difficult to choose a topic that would close out Black History Month. So many important historical figures have been highlighted all across media outlets and social media this month that I felt like I was playing catch-up with ideas, or offering a superficial glance while other sites were doing wonderful in-depth profiles.

So I decided to turn my attention forward rather than back, looking at individuals who are making history now. Names that will be in the history books of the future for their contributions to promoting continued interest in science, technology, engineering, and math for people of color, particularly women of color.

These are women who have achieved historic firsts and who work to further the inclusion of women and people of color in the sciences. Their outreach has been critical to increased engagement and job placement. As both inspirational figures and glass ceiling-shattering icons, their actions will resonate for many years to come.

[If you’re looking for a more historical take on black female trailblazers in medicine, check out Eyes Open #2 from last year.)

This is a relatively straightforward grid, featuring four names across five entries that you should know. There are two revealers in the lower right corner — one wordplay-heavy, one clued overtly — that tie together all of the themed entries.

I hope this puzzle serves to both engage you as a solver and encourage you to learn more about these impactful women, their contributions to their chosen fields, and their efforts to recruit younger people of color to follow the paths they’ve taken.

[Click this link to download a PDF of this puzzle.]

If you have suggestions for more topics for me to cover in future puzzles, please let me know. If you’re a person of color and you’d like to share a puzzle of your own, or to collaborate with me on a puzzle, please let me know.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you have ideas, please let me know. If you’re a trans person, or a non-binary individual, and you feel underrepresented in puzzles, please let me know.

I would like this to become something bigger, but hopefully, this is at the very least a start.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for standing up, speaking up, and fighting the good fight.

Support LGBTQIA+ people.
Believe women.
Black lives matter.

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