Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 honors were given for “Unsung Heroes” for the 2020 CA Senate Black History Month Celebration. My heroes were Mr. Hildreth (Hal) Walker Jr. & Dr. Bettye Davis Walker. Their daughter, Allison Walker, received the resolution on her parent’s behalf.
Hal Walker began his career in the laser technology industry at the KORAD Laser System. As a laser systems specialist, Hal contributed significantly to the development of the laser technology industry and helped enhance the field of study. It was due to his prominence in this field that he was selected to help NASA undergo its most important mission of that time – landing a person on the moon.
Alongside renowned astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Hal participated on the lunar laser ranging experiment, which calculated the distance from Earth to the moon utilizing a laser beam. This experiment would pave the way for the eventual moon landing of Buzz and fellow famed astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Dr. Bettye Davis Walker is a former university professor and school principal who has more than 30 years of experience in the field of education. Her research primarily focuses on the dampening of optimism and enthusiasm of learning and achievement for young Black girls and boys.
Through this research, Dr. Walker has established multiple youth programs including the Black male Achievement Project (B-MAP), African-American Male Achieves Network (A-MAN), and Young Ladies Achievers Club (Y-LAC), which all seek to enhance achievement and educational attainment in Black youth.
Together, Hal and Bettye have contributed significantly to the realm of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and have made sure to uplift Black youth who wish to follow their example.
Photo – Allison Walker with State Senator Holly Mitchell