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I hope you all are paying attention...

Mamie Till

Shirley Chisolm

Rosa Parks

Coretta Scott King

Who's left? What's left to be done? The icons of the Civil Rights movement are all pretty much gone. We cannot rely on their presence to remind everyone of just how recent the Jim Crow era was... So what's next?

Most of you probably don't know who Carl Mack is but I give you my word that if you ever get the chance to hear him speak, it is very well worth it. Michael Eric Dyson is not on this man's level. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are not on this man's level. And more importantly, for every ounce of Mack's talk, there is a pound of his action. It's not often that you can say that about the proclaimed black leader's nowadays. Most of them are way too tied into politics. They cannot separate themselves enough from politics to be our leaders. Anyhow, here's some of Carl Mack's words:

CARL MACK: Race still matters in engineering

by Carl Mack
April 20, 2005

On behalf of the National Society of Black Engineers, (NSBE) the largest student-managed organization in the world, with a membership of 15,000 African-American engineering students and technical professionals, I feel compelled to speak out against the shocking revelation that of the approximate 800 students who entered the 2004-2005 class of the engineering school at University of California- Berkeley, not one was an African-American.

The troubling news also revealed that out of a total class of 3,600 students entering the state’s flagship university, only 25 Black males, who were not athletes, were admitted last fall.

While I applaud the courage and vision of Berkeley Chancellor, Robert Birgeneau for highlighting yet another devastating impact of Proposition 209, we find the comments and actions of California Regent Ward Connerly to be as shallow as his commitment to equality.

In response to the news conference held by Chancellor Birgeneau last week, Connerly stated that for airing the horrific impact of Prop 209, Chancellor Birgeneau should be, “fired,” or “taken behind the woodshed for revealing such disregard for the people who pay the bills.” This strikes me as yet another confirmation of Connerly’s Judas-complex and I will go on record and say that Connerly is willing to sell his soul for a dollar.

When my colleague Tony Harris founded NSBE more than 30 years ago, it was out of a sense of

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frustration. 'As African-American students in schools of engineering in the early and mid-70's we felt as if we were not wanted or accepted.” Harris recently commented, “There were very few of us students, even fewer administrators and almost no Black faculty in engineering. With many Black students leaving school or changing majors and no role models to be found, we often wondered if success was even possible in such hostile environments.'

'We founded the National Society of Black Engineers to provide a support network and to provide a vehicle to make us feel like we did belong and that we could succeed. It saddens me… no, it angers me to hear that 30 years later with all of the inroads our organization has made nationally and internationally, UC Berkeley is unable to attract one black student to its school of engineering,” said Harris, Vice President of Marketing at San Jose based-Calpine Corporation and a member of the NSBE National Advisory Board. “We even had 25 Blacks in my entering class at Purdue University in 1971… in an ultra-conservative state like Indiana.”

In the 1990s, Bob Laird, then UC Berkley’s director of undergraduate admissions, all but predicted the embarrassing results of Prop 209 for the so-called liberal “Blue” state of California. Today, what was considered fair and objective thinking by many Californians has manifested itself into a reality that should draw concern from even the most conservative of its citizens.

In the National Innovation Initiative report released by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness in 2004, the conclusion was reached that innovation was the key to future economic growth in America. According to the latest data from the Council, however, America is being out produced nearly 5-to-1 per year in graduating engineers.
While this country is producing approximately 80,000 engineers a year, China and Japan are producing nearly 400,000. With this fact as a backdrop, Ward Connerly has convinced the citizens of California to, “cut off their nose to spite their face.” As a country that claims that “no child left behind,” the development of all of our talent should be priority number one.

There are incredibly successful programs in this country that understand the commitment to diversity and equality, programs such as Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES). FACES was developed by Gary S. May and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology. May, a former national chair of NSBE, current national advisor of NSBE, and 1991 Ph.D. graduate of UC Berkley, is only the second African- American to lead a Top 10 electrical engineering department. The FACES program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is an effort between Georgia Tech, Emory University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. Its aim is to increase the number of African-Americans attaining doctorates in engineering and science. Since the inception of FACES in 1998, Georgia Tech has graduated 138 minority doctoral students in science and engineering. Of that number, more than 60 percent are African-American. Although California is a blue state, Georgia is a red state, a southern state, a progressive state, and apparently in the right state of mind.

When asked if he would have attended UC Berkeley after the passage of Prop 209, May stated, “Although I had a wonderful educational and social experience at Berkeley in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I would have second thoughts about matriculating there in the current post-Prop 209 environment.”

Furthermore, when asked about the success of Georgia Tech in recruiting African- American students into engineering, science, technology and math, May stated, “Georgia Tech has been among the most successful universities in the country with respect to diversity because of three primary reasons: first, our strong relationship with historically Black colleges and universities; second, because the faculty, staff and administration at Georgia Tech have backed up their verbal commitment with serious financial commitments; and finally, we have been able to successfully develop a culture and environment that welcomes, promotes and supports academic excellence among African- Americans.”

According to the current NSBE National Chair, Chancee’ Lundy, a second year master’s candidate in Environmental Engineering at Florida A&M University - Florida State College of Engineering (FAMU-FSU COE): “In order to head off the catastrophic devastation at UC Berkeley and other California universities, several approaches should be followed: first, the citizens of California should reverse Prop 209; next, Governor Schwarzenegger should fill the position vacated by Connerly with an individual who values the true principals of education, to teach and to develop; and finally, until this situation is reversed, other educational and civic-minded groups should follow the lead of the National Society of Black Engineers and boycott the state.
In fact, NSBE has vowed that when reviewing sites to host its annual national convention, which has more than 10,000 attendees, it would not consider California.

As executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers, I stand ready and willing to meet with the new Chancellor, the UC Board of Regents, or the Governor of California to help resolve this crisis. But we firmly believe in practicing what we preach which means, no Black scholars – no Black dollars!”

Carl B. Mack is executive director of the National Society of Black Engineers.


What's really sad is that the fact that there were only 25 non-athlete black freshmen at UC-Berkeley last year is not a well known NOR well recited statistic! Why aren't we talking about this? Why aren't we making THEM talk about this? We are dropping the ball. For the mathematically UN-inclined, let me break it down for you:

25 black students / 3600 total students * 100% = 0.70%

This means that only seven tenths of one percent of the freshman class at UC-Berkeley were black students who weren't there for athletics. My state is on stage for the Affirmative Action fight now. If your's isn't, trust me, it will be soon enough. Then what are we gonna do? What will we do when only 0.7% of the educated people in this country are black?

An interesting video: http://www.broadcasturban.net/webcast/nsbe2005/sat_session2.htm


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Jan. 31st, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
lots of your mega-successful people don't have college degrees. if black people are serious about self-reliance, bringing back and encouraging cottage industries is one way to do it rather than suggesting everyone get a college degree and an office job. we need more than doctors and lawyers. you don't need a degree to successfully run the small businesses that would keep black communities all over the nation thriving and vital. i don't disagree that degrees can open certain doors, but they aren't the only doors, or even the easiest path in many instances.

Jan. 31st, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
Who said anything about college degree = office job?
Jan. 31st, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
tell me the overwhelming majority of college graduates ultimately do anything different than work for someone else, typically in office settings.

Jan. 31st, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
The overwhelming majority of people period work for other people. What is your point?
Jan. 31st, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
that it doesn't have to be that way if people don't want it to be that way. but people often aren't told there are other options and ways to go.
Feb. 1st, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
Yes, but we need scientists and engineers and general problem solvers and researchers, aligned with the cause, most. There are a lot of problem facing blacks not just in America, but the the black diaspora in general, in engineering, medicine, economics, etc. But they're ignored or not prioritized, because people going into these fields feel that "it's not my problem" or it's not interesting or glamourous enough.
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
whether you like it or not, college educations are becoming crucial to the job market. last time I checked, the U.S. economy was reliant on service and knowlege based industries, whether that's a good thing or how we can reverse it if it's not isn't the discussion. if we're going to change it, it has to be everyone at once, black people can't put themselves at a disadvantage by opting away from the college route.
Feb. 1st, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
but you're thinking about a job market! i'm talking about communities who can supply themselves independently, with enough sales to the external world to retain those connections. we seriously do not need all doctors and lawyers and engineers. there is so much more than that. why are we denying ALL the options, us who need them the most?

Feb. 1st, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.
Thank you, Booker T.
Feb. 1st, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
Re: plenty of educated people neither attend nor finish college.

Maybe he's right. I'm dropping out of grad school. That'll be a good compromise.
Jan. 31st, 2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
I wonder who'll respond to this? And how...
Feb. 1st, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
Don't forget
We still have Al Sharpton and the Jesse Jackson :)
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
Re: Don't forget
lol, I didn't forget...
Feb. 1st, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
NSBE stand up!! (Region 1, you know how it's done!!!)
Carl Mack is an awesome speaker. Puts fear and fight back in young people's eyes.

(Plus he's pretty easy on the eyes for an older man)

Okay that had nothing to do with nothing, I'll go quietly...
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
Re: NSBE stand up!! (Region 1, you know how it's done!!!)
4 sooo-lid, 4 sooo-lid, 4 sooo-lid, 4 life.
Feb. 1st, 2006 02:12 am (UTC)
Re: NSBE stand up!! (Region 1, you know how it's done!!!)
lol I never like the other regions' chants, but I can't hate on anyone with a Steelers icon darn it
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)
Carl Mack left Seattle recently as head of the local chapter of the NAACP...people didn't seem to take too kindly to him while he was here. Good to know he's doing well in the NSBE.
Feb. 1st, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
Ward Connerly lives in Sacramento. I'm overcome by a sudden urge to go stand out on his front porch with a copy of my icon blown up to poster-size.

Seriously, though--those numbers are chilling. What's worse is that everyone knew that was going to happen. California is such a good example of government by ballotl initiative run amuck.
Feb. 1st, 2006 05:51 am (UTC)
This is serious, but on the athletic front- were all those athletic blacks *just* there for athletic degrees because just because you are there to play ball doesn't mean that that's all you're gonna pick up there.

I agree that there needs to be more encouragement into the field of engineering and sciences for black students because, yes, if we disappear from the fields who will address the problems and situations we have, or attempt to, that we go through? The mainstream (read: white people) will only do so 10 or 15 years after the worst of damage is done.

HOWEVER, I do kind of undrstand what jsl32 is getting at, or trying to. I mean, I know of so many people who go to college, black people (and I'll probably be guilty of this to) that go to college for majors that won't really make them any money or help them 'succeed'. You go to school and get a degree in anthropology or linguistics, or hell even psychology, and you'll find that the job market isn't in your favor. I mean, I dont have this study, but I remember some article saying that only 1/3 of college graduates actually work in a field related to their major.

So while I do understand that the market is looking for jobs, for people with doctorates in engineering and sciences, just because there aren't that many of us doesn't mean that we aren't trying to get educated.
Feb. 1st, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
That's true- I can't work in engineering because I suck at math, but I could become a psychology type person who helps our mental health.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )



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