47 Years Strong

EST. 1976

ANNUAL REPORT

2023

Letter from our Board Chair

It is with great pride and gratitude we review the progress and momentum The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) achieved in 2023. Thanks to the generosity of our members, supporters and partners, we have a lot to celebrate.

This year was an incredible showcase of the depth and breadth of our mission in action. We leaned into our workforce development model, and, true to our mission, OBAP created opportunities and impactful experiences for thousands of youth and professionals to learn and advance in the aerospace industry.

We expanded the reach of our organization's programs and services and provided new pathways to success by increasing professional development opportunities, improving program quality and quantity, and enhancing the impact of our signature annual conference.

These efforts reflect the commitment OBAP makes to youth, professionals, supporters, and the communities we serve to close the opportunity gap for those who need us most.

Your support is vital to making all of this happen.

Thank you, once again, for your ongoing dedication to diversity and opportunity for all in aerospace.


Sincerely,
Joel Webley

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Celebrating OBAP Impact >>>

For over 47 years, OBAP has been a force for change in the aviation and aerospace industries. Our members and supporters are trailblazers, and their impact has created pathways to success for generations to come. Today, our mission is sure: creating opportunities through exposure, leadership and mentorship, but we can't do it without you. Join us as we move forward into a future of new horizons.

OBAP changes lives by creating pathways to success through educating youth, communities, and professionals—shaping an aerospace industry as diverse as the people we serve.

OBAP mission statement.

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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.

The organization quickly

became a prominent advocate and thought leader for improving conditions industry-wide. OBAP's early leadership helped to increase available pilot positions and opportunities for blacks and elevated the civil rights issue to a higher priority for government officials nationwide.

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OBAP continues

to change lives by creating pathways to success through educating youth, communities, and professionals—shaping an aerospace industry as diverse as the people we serve.

Membership overview.

Members of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals are part of a network of current and aspiring aerospace professionals dedicated to continuing the organization’s 45-year legacy of influence in aerospace. OBAP stands as a leader in the aerospace community, providing programming to equip future aerospace professionals, and forging partnerships to ensure access and diversity in aerospace for decades to come.

2023 was a year of taking bold steps toward creating the future we envision. With members in mind, we continue leading the way to a more equitable, thriving industry.

As we move forward into the future, our aim remains steadfast. We will continue to serve aerospace professionals from every corner of our industry by providing professional advancement and career enhancement opportunities and serve as a voice in our industry to advocate on their behalf. We will help to enrich their experience by focusing on the value of volunteerism.

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Just as our founders believed over 47 years ago, we know that an OBAP membership is the path to lifelong learning, networking, and career advancement, as well as a commitment to support the next generation of aerospace professionals. 

With OBAP, the sky’s the limit!

Our dreams-to-careers commitment is our driving force in developing a more diverse and inclusive aerospace industry for the future.

Project Aerospace

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.

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APIS

Aerospace Professionals in School (APIS) introduces youth to the limitless opportunities available through careers in aerospace and aviation beginning at an early age. Since 1992, the program has reached over 720,000 youth, many of whom hold positions as commercial pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians, aerospace engineers, flight dispatchers, ATC specialists, aviation business managers, and more. Connecting with students at an early point in their lives, allows OBAP to plant the seeds that we hope will be successful careers in Aerospace.

2023 APIS

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Virtual Sessions Offered
  • 9 English sessions
  • 6 French-speaking sessions (support Canadian schools & students)

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Participating Schools

ACE

OBAP's Aerospace Career Education (ACE) Academy provides middle and high school youth with exposure to opportunities in aerospace through week-long summer academies.

OBAP has played a leading role in establishing ACE Academies throughout the continental United States and its territories to introduce, educate, and guide diverse students towards careers in aerospace. To date, OBAP's ACE Academies have engaged more than 32,000 youth.

ACE 2023 numbers

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OBAP ACE Academies

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Volunteers

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Students

Attendance for 2023: 191

Explore Aerospace

OBAP’s exciting new Explore Aerospace (EA) program allows students to deepen their knowledge of aviation and aerospace through a hands-on STEM-based curriculum from the comfort of home. Over 12 weeks, students learn from industry professionals, about principles of flight, aerodynamics, and aerospace careers, meet guest speakers, go on virtual tours and so much more!
In 2024, Explore Aerospace will launch a suite of asynchronous courses, providing greater access to students worldwide.

Special thanks to our session speakers from:

NASA
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Ascension Project

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OBAP Student Members

In its first year, the OBAP Ascension Project is a new and improved professional development program for college and graduate students, pilots in training, and young professionals looking to launch a successful aerospace career.

This program provides participants access to a vast network of peers and professionals, as well as opportunities to develop professionally in six skill competency areas; Effective Communication, Leadership and coordination, Financial Responsibility, Community Engagement, Industry Awareness, and OBAP History and future.

SCHOLARSHIPS

OBAP is dedicated to supporting minority interests and placement in aerospace careers. To date, OBAP has awarded $5.9 million in scholarships to more than 490 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.

Scholarships 2023 numbers

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Scholarships Awarded
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Dreams TAKE FLIGHT at LWFA.

Through the establishment of the Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy, OBAP is excited to provide a facility that offers life-changing training for students from Memphis area schools and beyond who possess a desire to fly.

Lieutenant Colonel Luke Weathers Jr. was the first African American air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) based at the Memphis International Airport (MEM). On June 25, 1945 Lt. Col. Weathers also became the first African American to receive the key to the City of Memphis declaring the day "Luke Weathers, Jr. Day."

To honor his contributions to aviation & aerospace, the Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy (LWFA) has been established at the Olive Branch Airport, just a short drive from his Memphis home. The Flight Academy offers FAR 141 and 61 Flight Training, JET Transition Training, mentoring, and more.

LWFA 2023 numbers

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Discovery Flights

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Private Pilot Licenses

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Certified Flight Instructor certificates

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Instrument Ratings

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Student Solos

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Commercial Pilots

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Solo Flight Academy Students

Flying makes me feel liberated. I feel free. Even during my first flight it felt like I was doing what I was meant to do all along.

Our Partners

DREAMS TO CAREERS PARTNERS

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INNOVATION PARTNERS

Alaska

Envoy

JetBlue

Piedmont

INSPIRATION PARTNERS

JSX

UPS

Walmart Aviation

FRIENDS OF THE FUTURE

Atlas Air

Endeavor Air

FlexJet

Lockheed Martin

PSA Airlines

Sun Country Airlines

Tradewind Aviation

Virginia Department of Aviation

Wing

PATRONS

ABX Air

ALPA

American Airlines Credit Union

AmeriJet

Commute Air

NACTA

Pilot Counseling Services

PlaneSense

Republic Airways

SkyWest

Spirit

Unifi

Volato

Western Michigan University

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