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On Golden Wings Performance at Charlottesville City Schools

Students at Charlottesville City Schools watched a special performance this week called “On Golden Wings”. The virtual play was given to up to 3,000 children to teach about the many opportunities available to minorities and women in STEM fields.

The interactive play is a celebration of one of America’s great African American Aviation heroes, James Herman Banning. Despite racial barriers in the early 20th century, Banning was the first black aviator to fly across the continental US. The play is designed to show the audience that if you obtain the STEM skills, it is possible to overcome prejudice and achieve your dreams.

“To tell stories about minority STEM heroes became the mission,” Executive Director Louisa Jaggar said. “I believe very strongly that people believe when they see that path in front of them has already been forged. We wanted to make sure that children could see themselves in these people who are real and were part of the golden age of flight.”

Jaggar, who wrote and directed On Golden Wings along with Kevin Mambo, helps bring the play to schools across the country. She is hopeful that next year they will be able to present the play in person. Jaggar said she is grateful for the support provided by the Virginia Department of Aviation in being able to put on the productions.

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