Nichelle Nichols is best known for her role as Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series, but she had an entire second career increasing diversity at NASA. Her efforts after her stint on the iconic sci-fi show had a huge impact on the space agency, but haven't been properly chronicled before.
Nichols' work, however, is now brought to light in a new documentary. During the Woman In Motion panel for today’s Star Trek First Contact Day, moderator Mica Burton announced that the documentary, Woman In Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA, will premiere on Paramount+ on June 3.
The feature, directed by Todd Thompson, tells the story of how Nichols used her sci-fi celebrity to create the company, Woman In Motion, Inc., which recruited more than 8,000 African American, Asian, and Latino women and men for NASA.
Check out the trailer here:
As the trailer suggests, the feature chronicles Nichols' efforts to break through the bureaucracy and turn NASA into one of the U.S. Government’s most diverse independent agencies. The impact of Nichols’ work continues to this day, as the program continues to have an impact on the agency and the people who work there, including on Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut in space.
In addition to Nichols, Woman In Motion includes commentary from relevant celebrities, activists, and scientists including Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Takei, Pharrell Williams, Martin Luther King III, Al Sharpton, Vivica A. Fox, Water Koenig, Rod Roddenberry, Michael Dorn, Guy Bluford, Charles Bolden, Ivor Dawson, Frederik Gregory, and Benjamin Crump.
The feature documentary, Woman In Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek and the Remaking of NASA, premieres on Paramount+ on June 3.