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ACROSS AMERICA: Three African-Americans Claim Rare Engineering Accomplishment

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The National Academy of Engineering has 83 new members this year, including a rare three African-Americans who are scheduled to be inducted in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 30.

Lynden A. Archer, a James Friend Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; Gary S. May, chancellor of the University of California, Davis; and Gabriel C. Ejebe, the senior project manager for energy trading and markets for Open Access Technology International in Minneapolis; are the three African-American fellows.

“I think African-American participation in engineering is crucial,” said Archer, who joined the faculty at Cornell in 2000.

Archer has earned recognition by the academy for “advances in nanoparticle-polymer hybrid materials and in electrochemical energy storage technologies.”

A graduate of the University of Southern California where he majored in chemical engineering, Archer holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford University.

“We basically live in an era where engineering and science are essentially at the forefront of both human advancement and creating wealth,” Archer said.

“It’s crucial to encourage minority and African-American youngsters to train their creativity in this field … it prepares you for so many things,” he said.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering counts among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.

Academy membership reportedly honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/ implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

The academy does not disclose the racial makeup of its membership, but past Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (JBHE) research has shown that Blacks make up about one percent of the members.

According to an analysis of the new membership list by JBHE, it appears that there are three Black engineers among the 83 new members. Two of the three – Archer and May – have current academic affiliations.

The new members bring the total number of U.S. members to 2,293, according to JBHE.

“I am honored to be included in the National Academy of Engineering Class of 2018,” said May, the seventh chancellor of UC Davis and one-time dean of the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

“It is gratifying to be recognized for my research in semiconductor manufacturing and for creating programs to encourage underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers,” said May, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology who earned selection to the academy for his contributions to semiconductor manufacturing research and for innovations in educational programs for underrepresented groups in engineering.

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Donald Trump Conveniently Ignores Anniversary of One of America’s Worst Acts of Terror

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Three days before a national tragedy would shake the entire world, on September 8, 2001, George Bush issued a proclamation recognizing one of the darkest hours in American history. On September 15, 2013, Barack Obama’s White House sent out an official statement recognizing the same solemn day.

George W. Bush’s Proclamation 7460 reads, in part:

As a Nation, we celebrate those achievements and look forward to new challenges. At the same time, we also recognize that racism still exists in America.

One of the darkest days for the cause of civil rights was September 15, 1963, when a bomb exploded in the basement of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. The blast ended the lives of four young African-American girls, and ultimately demonstrated the tragic human costs of bigotry and intolerance.

Barack Obama’s Statement from the President on the 50th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Al, reads:

Today, we remember Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley who were killed 50 years ago in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. That horrific day in Birmingham, Alabama quickly became a defining moment for the Civil Rights Movement. It galvanized Americans all across the country to stand up for equality and broadened support for a movement that would eventually lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Earlier this year, I was honored to meet with family members of those four precious little girls as America posthumously awarded them the Congressional Gold Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors.

Read me full story at The Root

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Afrodelicious | Thursday, September 27

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On September 27, join the Bowser Administration at Afrodelicious, a celebration of African Heritage Month. The event will feature African-inspired cuisine from local restaurants.

RSVP for Afrodelicious HERE.

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History & Culture

Newseum Honors First African American Woman to Cover White House

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On Friday, Sept. 21, a new sculpture of Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first African American woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House and Congress, is scheduled to go on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

At the unveiling of the sculpture, featured guests are expected to tell the story of this pioneering journalist who rose to the top of her profession despite racist policies that segregated Black journalists and sexist attitudes that severely limited opportunities for women in the industry.

“Alice Dunnigan endured poverty, segregation and sexism and she fought to fulfill her dream of becoming a journalist,” designer Lauren Bohn wrote on Twitter.

“Alice’s story should give hope to anyone who has ever doubted his or her ability to make it through tough times or, much more painfully, his or her own worth,” said political analyst Jordyn Holman.

Denver, Colo., Mayor Michael B. Hancock said the tribute is long overdue.

“Alice Dunnigan was a barrier breaker for women and people of color to reach higher heights in journalism,” Hancock said.

Read more at Black Press USA HERE

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