Group Seeks to Dramatically Increase the Annual Number of Diverse Engineering Graduates

The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineers (NACME) has chosen the 50K Coalition Leadership Circle as the recipient of NACME’s 2017 Diversity Vision Award. Originally envisioned by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the 50K Coalition is a 40-organization collaborative formed by four preeminent engineering diversity membership organizations: NSBE, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). As the top administrators of this group’s founding organizations, the 50K Coalition Leadership Circle guides the coalition toward its goal of producing 50,000 diverse engineering graduates annually in the U.S. by 2025. The award was presented during the 2017 NACME Awards Gala, at Cipriani 42nd Street, New York, N.Y., on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

NACME is the largest provider of college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees at schools of engineering. The council’s Diversity Vision Award “honors individuals who set personal examples that inspire minority youth to set a high standard for their educational and professional goals and for believing that the American dream is one that should not be encumbered by the boundaries of race or gender.”

“For more than four decades, NACME’s work has been vital for any effort to increase the representation of blacks, Latinos, native peoples and women in engineering in the U.S. So this recognition has added significance for all members of the 50K Coalition,” said NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D., a member of the 50K Coalition Leadership Circle. Sarah Echohawk, chief executive officer of AISES; Karen Horting, executive director and chief executive officer of the Society of Women Engineers, and Raquel Tamez, chief executive officer of SHPE, complete the Leadership Circle.

“AISES strives to inspire native youth to pursue and achieve their STEM educational and professional goals,” said Echohawk. “The work of the 50K Coalition is instrumental in ensuring all minority youth have the opportunities necessary to make their dreams a reality. Along with the other 50K Coalition Leadership Circle members, AISES is honored to receive this year’s Diversity Vision Award.”

Says Horting: “To have the collective impact work of the 50K Coalition recognized by an organization in the diversity field as prestigious as NACME is truly an honor. Increasing the number of diverse engineering graduates in the U.S. is vital to our future economic competitiveness, our quality of life and our national security. Receiving this award will give added visibility to our work and hopefully inspire other organizations to get involved with the 50K Coalition.”

Tamez of SHPE spoke about the promise of the coalition’s work.

“The SHPE ‘familia’ is excited by the mission of the 50K Coalition and confident of the impact this collaboration will have on increasing the number of engineering bachelor’s degrees from 30,000 to 50,000 by 2025,” she said. “SHPE is fully committed to this goal by supporting our student chapters and giving them the resources they need, because when students are given access to opportunities and are supported in the pursuit of their dreams, they will succeed. It is what we believe and what we live every day at SHPE, inspiring excellence in students from day one through graduation.”


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