The ASEE Board of Directors has approved the 2021-2022 ASEE society year to be the Year of Impact on Racial Equity! The Year of Impact on Racial Equity will begin at the end of the 2021 Annual Conference and end after the 2022 Annual Conference.
To help leverage and extend the societal momentum toward greater awareness and action to dismantle white supremacy and racism, we believe that it is time for a Year of Impact on Racial Equity. We want to move beyond action to focus on the impacts of the actions we take. Our intentions are not as important as our impact!
Our plan for this year is focused on making organizational change with engineering student organizations, colleges of engineering and engineering technology, ASEE constituent groups, and organizers of pre-college outreach efforts.
Three Focus Areas
Our plan for this year is focused on making organizational change with engineering and engineering technology student organizations, colleges of engineering and engineering technology, ASEE constituent groups, and organizers of pre-college outreach efforts.
- The Faculty and Administrators pillar has 9 different areas of focus where small subcommittees are currently working on their goals and planned actions for this year. The areas of focus are: contingent faculty; workload, promotion, and pay; retention and self-care; identifying racist structures; supporting underrepresented faculty; faculty mentorship of diverse graduate students; creating inclusive classrooms; learning from existing programs; divesting from white supremacy culture. We have a monthly meeting for all Faculty & Administrator pillar members, and subcommittees are meeting separately and reporting back at that time. If you want to join one of these subcommittees, please contact Liz Litzler (email@example.com) with the subcommittee name you are interested in and she will connect you with that team’s leader.
- The Engineering Design Teams Pillar oversees all aspects of a 90-day equity challenge posed to leaders of the student chapters of engineering professional societies on college campuses across the country. The 90-day equity challenge will kick-off on MLK Day (Jan 17, 2022) and run through April 17, 2022. During this time, teams are encouraged to use the engineering design process to (begin to) address an equity issue within their chapter. They are encouraged to focus on an issue that aligns with one of five tracks: recruitment and/or retention of members; diversity among the leadership; culture, inclusion, and sense of belonging among members; outreach activities led by their organization; in-reach efforts focused on supporting other students/peers on campus. With this in mind, this taskforce is focused on developing the call for participation, getting the word out to prospective teams, managing submissions, organizing the virtual kick-off event, supporting teams as they embark on their equity challenge, evaluating/selecting teams that will win awards for their impact and/or progress toward it, and celebrating all of the teams’ success at the 2022 annual conference. We meet once per month, and subgroups may start meeting separately to make progress in between the all-hands meeting. If you’re interested in joining this taskforce, please contact Jeremi London (firstname.lastname@example.org) with information on which activities you are most interested in contributing to, and she will add you to the calendar invite for the all-hands meeting.
- The P-12 Parents and Guardians Pillar goal is to increase participation and comfort of Black and Brown P-12 students in existing engineering outreach efforts taking place next year, all over the country. The pillar will work on developing different forms of communication (e.g., videos, interactive maps, curated resources) so parents, guardians, and teachers have access to best practices, programs, and different initiatives with the goal of increasing recruitment and retention of students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. Visit this website for more details, and please email Homero Murzi (email@example.com) if you are willing to help with this pillar.
Please volunteer your time and skills to help the Year of Impact on Racial Equity by signing up for the Taskforce.
This Year of Impact will also be different from the prior Year of Action on Diversity because of its focus on institutionalizing efforts. Participating organization will be asked to set up structures (via policies and programmatic changes) that are self-sustaining and embrace continuous improvement. In this way, the work will become a sustained movement instead of a year that then returns back to “normal”.
The expected outcomes for this year include:
- Increased participation and comfort among Black and brown K-12 children in pre-college engineering activities which communicate that an engineering career is an option for everyone;
- Empowered engineering and engineering technology student organizations to make engineering education more inclusive; and
- Actionable organizational policies and effective practices implemented in Colleges of Engineering that disrupt the status quo regarding who gets to participate in engineering education as a student and as a faculty member.
Call to Action
Please volunteer your time and skills to help the Year of Impact on Racial Equity by signing up for the Taskforce by contacting one of the Pillar leaders listed above.
If you sign-up, you can be involved in a myriad of ways, but we especially need help with:
- Thought partnership during Summer 2021 to plan activities and develop partnerships
- Helping to implement each of the three strategic pillars
- Communicating with the three key audiences
- Measuring our impact