The National Society of Black Engineers Calls Out “Septic State of Race Relations”

"Our mutual goal of a diverse engineering workforce is unattainable when black students are more worried for their lives than about their lecture."

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) released a powerful statement on the recent police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and on the problem of police brutality in general.

Calling the deaths of Sterling and Castile a peeling back of “the scab that covers the septic state of race relations in America,” these impactful words were delivered by the NSBE Chair, Matthew Nelson:

“The most frightening notion is that our compliance with law enforcement officers may no longer be sufficient for survival. Recent events have caused individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math to question the relevance of their education in a society that undervalues their lives.”

The statement also condemns the murders of the Dallas police officers:

“The value of life is not exclusive to one race or one profession. The solution to addressing the concerns of our community certainly does not reside in the assassination of public safety officials. Incidents like the recent shootings of police in Dallas during a peaceful protest make a hazardous atmosphere even more toxic. Just as we are praying for the families of the black men slain, we pray for the families of the police officers who were struck down while in the line of duty.”

The NSBE also issues solutions for quelling social injustice:

  • Research your candidates for government offices and continue to voice your concerns once they begin their terms.
  • Leverage your economic power to influence policy. Choose wisely when deciding where you will live and pay taxes.
  • Make the choice to shop and dine in areas where black consumers are welcomed and appreciated, not labeled and harassed.
  • Take note of the response from the LGBT community to North Carolina House Bill 2 and the effect of that response on that state’s economy.
  • For additional resources to help you focus your frustrations on positive outcomes, read the post STEM and Social Justice: Applying an Engineering Lens to Social Change, located on NSBE’s website in the blog section.

The National Society of Black Engineers is dedicated to the academic and professional success of African American engineering students and professionals. You can read the NSBE’s full statement here.



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