OBAP – Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

11299 Airport Rd
Olive Branch
Organization Overview

Our Story Taking Flight Founded in 1976, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers. OBAP members encourage diversity in the industry by supporting aspiring aviation professionals through Project Aerospace, a series of scholarships, mentoring, training, and youth-focused education programs. In 1976 Ben Thomas, a young African American pilot with Eastern Airlines, spearheaded an effort to form a permanent body to address discrimination in the airline industry. He invited thirty-seven African American pilots, representing nearly 50% of the industry total at the time, to convene at O-Hare Hilton Hotel in Chicago on September 17 and 18. The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), then called The Organization of Black Airline Pilots, was formed as a result of that collaborative meeting with a focus on preparing youth and young adults to realize successful careers in aviation. Influencing Policy In 1992, in an effort to augment the dwindling military supply of pilots, then OBAP President, Captain M. Perry Jones encouraged the U.S. Congress to appoint a panel and fund a 2-year study by the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate the nation's supply, demand, and production capacity for airline pilots beyond the year 2000. As a result of the study, the U.S. Armed Forces became obligated to increase minority participation in the military, allocating positions designated solely for minority pilots. The organization quickly became a prominent advocate and thought leader for improving conditions industry-wide. In 1986, OBAP's General Counsel, and Eastern First Officer, Eddie Hadden testified before a U.S. Congressional hearing on airline industry hiring practices. As a result, Congress began to strengthen accountability measures to monitor the performance of minority recruiting. In 1994, OBAP member and Pan Am Pilot, Ed Moon offered additional testimony before a similar session. The hearing brought increased awareness around discrimination within the airlines, encouraging swift changes to industry standards in direct partnership with minority organizations like OBAP. Additionally, the testimonies helped to increase available pilot positions and opportunities for blacks, and elevated the civil rights issue to a higher priority for government officials nationwide.

Organization Mission Statement

Our Mission OBAP Inspires Excellence and provides opportunities in aerospace by Supporting, Transforming, Educating, and Mentoring our members and communities. Our Vision OBAP will be a world-leading organization that changes lives by creating a pathway to success through educating youth, communities, and professionals—shaping an aerospace industry as diverse as the people we serve. Our Objectives To motivate youth to become educationally prepared for life To increase minority participation in aerospace through exposure, training, mentoring and scholarships To increase the number of underrepresented minority professionals, engineers, scientists and management personnel in aerospace and related industries To better assist our organization, membership concerns and constituencies. With support from our members, donors & sponsors, we can achieve all of our goals and grow to reach more youth to achieve their dreams in the aerospace industry as well as support in their continued career path.

Organization Resources
Resource Types

Mentoring, Scholarships, Networking Events, Local Chapters

Resource Details

PROJECT AEROSPACE Programs & Partnerships Founded in 1976, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers. OBAP’s Project Aerospace offers annual opportunities to inform and prepare aspiring aerospace professionals for their future careers. This dream-to-career commitment includes initial exposure to the industry through in-school career day events, immersive summer programs, flight training academies and professional development opportunities held nationwide.

Scholarship Details
Scholarships OBAP is dedicated to supporting minority interests and placement in aerospace careers. To date, OBAP has awarded nearly $7 million in scholarships to more than 500 diverse recipients nationwide. The scholarships, made available through strengthened partnerships with key carriers and aviation-related businesses, allow award recipients to advance or pursue diverse aviation-related careers. An active OBAP membership is required to apply.
Volunteering Details

Volunteer We're increasing interest in careers in aerospace, providing financial support to qualified students, investing long-term mentorship, and producing career-advancing events. And we don’t do any of this alone. We work with hundreds of volunteers each year, each passionate about the future of aerospace and committed to making a difference with their time.

This Organization's Events

See All Aviation Events

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