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Lewis Latimer Fellowship Program Hosts Memorial Event Celebrating Namesake

Historic event commemorates the life and achievements of Innovator Lewis Howard Latimer, headstone unveiled to adorn renowned inventor’s resting place.

FALL RIVER, MA. – September 26, 2023 – The Lewis Latimer Fellowship Program, an organization dedicated to providing special access and mentorship to a select group of exceptional Black innovators, hosted the Lewis Howard Latimer Memorial Program on September 23rd, 2023. The commemorative occasion celebrated the life and legacy of renowned inventor Lewis Latimer, whose vast scientific contributions to modern society were largely unrecognized during his lifetime. The event culminated in an unveiling and placement of the innovator’s headstone, created by sculptor and artist Stan Mullins.

“This is the culmination of three years of hard work,” said Jonathan Cropper, co-Founder at the Latimer Fellowship Program. “When we created the Lewis Latimer Fellowship Program, we felt it was critically important to create and elevate new ‘superheroes’ that young Black kids can look up to and aspire to be. And when we learned about Latimer and that he was laid to rest here without a tombstone, we simply had to right that wrong.”

Latimer’s carefully crafted headstone offers long-overdue acknowledgment of his life’s work and achievements. The memorial ceremony was attended by Latimer Fellows past and present, the executive director of the Lewis Latimer House Museum  in New York, as well as Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan and members of the Latimer Family.

Founded in April of 2021 by Frank Bonafilia, Dr. Carmichael Roberts, and Jonathan Cropper, the Lewis Latimer Fellowship Program is an extension of The Edison Awards, a globally recognized annual competition that has served as a leader in recognizing, honoring, and fostering innovation for more than 30 years.

For more information about the Latimer Fellowship Program, visit Applications for the next round of innovative Latimer Fellows will open soon.