UA champion and astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz shared why she supports Urban Alliance in an interview with Space.com:
“My interaction with Urban Alliance started here in Chicago. They are predominantly based in the mid-Atlantic, in Virginia, D.C. and Baltimore, but their other location is actually here where I am, in Chicago. I gave a talk at Chicago Ideas Week a couple of years ago, and they had partnered with Urban Alliance, and they brought a group of their students just to hang out afterwards and talk about space. And I had a really wonderful series of questions and answers and conversations with them, and between that and the Adler Planetarium where I am, which has a very vibrant teen program, one of the things I’m always struck by is that our teens have wonderful, insightful questions about our future here on Earth and space, and I think you hear a lot of people talk in sort of the abstract about what the next generation needs or what the next generation thinks, or even people invoking, “Well, all children want to be astronauts, etc.,” and you know, when you actually talk to teenagers, they have a beautiful cornucopia of opinions.
I think that working with Urban Alliance or even just more broadly with students in the D.C. area is important, because the majority of people are not asking those students what they think and are not engaging them in actually forging their own futures, and I think that their opinions are important. And I think it’s particularly important to reach out to students who do come from diverse backgrounds, because you find that, when you get groups of people together who come from a variety of different places, they see things in a variety of different ways.
Our research shows that that makes for a more robust set of problem solvers, and I really think that the more people we can engage from more backgrounds to work together, the stronger we’ll be and the greater our chances will be in space and on Earth.”