Dr. Ashanti, 1st Black Woman Chemical Oceanographer in the US is Dedicated to Lifting Others As She Climbs

On land, sea, and in the air, Black people have and continue to accomplish highly—despite historic and present-day challenges. Dr. Ashanti Johnson exemplifies this truth as an oceanographer, and first Black woman to earn a PhD in chemical oceanography at Texas A & M University, Galveston. It was her 3rd grade dolphin project, followed by relentless encouragement from 2 teachers, that inspired her interest in mastering knowledge of the seas. 

While Johnson has earned a host of science awards, her commitment to helping others achieve similarly may be one of her most enduring distinctions. Recalling a sentiment she developed en route to becoming an oceanographer, Johnson stated,“My experience at Texas A&M for grad school is when I initially decided that I would make it easier for others. I wanted to ensure that they would not have to struggle and do all of the proving that I had to do without a support system.”

Dr. Johnson’s commitment to bringing others along as she climbs represents a cultural value that has long served people of African descent. Responsibility for oneself in relationship to the collective well-being of others is a fundamental way of being that regenerates and sustains life. To learn more about the brilliant oceanographer who has made it her business to help others, click here.

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