posted on 12.24.2021
A CALL TO ACTION FOR CORPORATE AMERICA
Alexandria, VA (June 9, 2020) – The daylight execution of George Floyd has awakened the United States of America to stand-up and speak-out on the racial injustices experienced by minority communities, specifically African-Americans.
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., (NACME), was founded in 1974 as an outcome of the Civil Rights Movement. A group of forward-thinking CEOs joined together to discuss how to create meaningful access opportunities for African-Americans to pursue degrees in engineering and gain employment opportunities within their companies and the industry at large. Fast forward to 2020, our mission has evolved to support more historically under- represented communities as well as an expansion into computer science. However, the need for meaningful access opportunities, as recent events have shown us, is as great as it has ever been.
We recognize executive teams are actively working on solutions to build upon initial statements from their CEOs. NACME calls on Corporate America to think about making meaningful investments by:
1. Giving access and support to Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans matriculating in undergraduate computer science and engineering programs by donating or increasing your donation to NACME’s, or similar organizations’, scholarship funds. Engineering and computer science majors are pivotal to the future competitiveness of this country.
2. Creating or dramatically expanding, paid internship programs that provide meaningful employment opportunities to America’s youth. Corporate internships are economic game changers since they serve as jumping-off points to life-long professional careers.
3. Expanding the voice of your affinity or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) by ensuring their executive sponsor’s performance is tied to providing outcomes championed by the ERG. We urge companies to create formal support services for all employees, specifically for ERGs that focus on African Americans and for all managers to be encouraged to engage authentically and personally. The recent tragic events have had a significant impact on the psyche of all Americans, but particularly those individuals who saw visions of their son, their loved one, or themselves, gasping for air under a policeman’s knee.
4. Ensuring your executive and board of director search pools include diverse candidates. At NACME, we recognize that transformational change, comes from within. Corporate America should play a pivotal role in correcting the significant injustices inflicted upon Black and other under-served communities. To do this, and to get it right the first time, you must have diverse executives, individuals who represent all American communities, at the table.
As we focus on over-communicating with our Scholars, our partners, both University and non-profits, to ensure we are an ally during this difficult time, we ask that you join us, and other advocates, to be the change we seek.
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