Empowering African American Women in STEM#

Last summer, I was invited to join a NSBE Task Force on Empowering African American Women in STEM.  The task force was established to identify appropriate strategies for NSBE to be most impactful as a society in improving the environment for AA women in STEM, especially engineering and CS. We worked throughout the summer and early fall to make an initial recommendation to the National Executive Board.  

One of those recommendations was to host a recognition month celebrating African American Women in STEM.  We chose to make this month run from today, February 16th through March 15th.  We’re celebrating African American women half in Black History Month and half in Women’s History Month.  Our celebration began on Sunday, along with Engineer’s Week and continues for four weeks.  We issued an eBlast announcing to the whole membership of our launched a [](http://www.nsbe.org/Membership/Empowering-AAWiSTEM.aspx”>page of content on the NSBE site. We’re running an [](http://www.nsbe.org/Membership/Empowering-AAWiSTEM/Awareness-Month.aspx” target=“_blank”>Awareness month and [](http://www.nsbe.org/getattachment/Membership/Empowering-AAWiSTEM/Twitter-Chats/AAWiSTEM_photo-challenge.png.aspx?width=500&height=500” target=“_blank”>photo challenge.

We’re also hosting two Twitter chats on Mentoring and Policy.  Last month as the first public act of the Task Force we  hosted a first, general Twitter chat on [](http://storify.com/NSBE/empowering-aawistem-twitter-chat” target=“_blank”>Empowering African American Women in STEM and it was a major success.  We had 185 contributors and 250 original tweets with 745 Retweets and 195 replies.  In that chat we discussed feeling empowered in STEM and strategies for tough moments.  Throughout the chat, mentors came up several times, so we decided to have another chat, completely dedicated to discussing the role of mentors. We also had a question on policy in the first chat, that generated a lot of discussion and left more room for deeper discussion, so we made that the second chat on policy.  The mentoring chat will be tomorrow at 9:30pm eastern. The policy chat is on March 11th, also at 9:30pm eastern.