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PSEG Grants $40K to Launch STEM Education Diversity Advocacy Program

The PSEG Foundation has awarded $40,000 to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) $40,000 to launch the RISE Advocacy Training Program – a virtual cohort experience that provides hands-on policy and advocacy training for students in higher education. This serves as part of a larger NSBE initiative, the NSBE RISE (Research and Development, Innovative Thinking, Social Emergence, and Excel) Center, which calls for the reimagining of institutions, systems and equity in engineering education. The PSEG Foundation’s support aims to help increase the diversity pipeline of engineering candidates while addressing future, critical workforce needs in STEM fields.

“This experience will help aspiring engineers now and provide valuable skills for their futures when they join companies like PSEG and have opportunities to serve a wide variety of communities,” said Calvin Ledford, president, PSEG Foundation. “As we close National Engineers Week and look forward to March as National STEM Month, this is an excellent time to recognize the many contributions NSBE and its members have made globally.”

Students in the RISE Advocacy Training Program will learn how to navigate policy at the federal, state, local and institutional levels. With the support of NSBE’s Public Policy Special Interest Group (SIG), members will gain the skills needed to make effective changes and help hold educational institutions accountable in their 2020 equity pledges.

Upon completion of the training program, participants will:

  • Have fundamental knowledge of how to advocate in higher education
  • Know how to use various tools and strategies for advocating on behalf of Black and other traditionally marginalized communities on campus
  • Know how to develop, implement and manage a comprehensive Advocacy Action Plan.

Through The RISE Advocacy Training Program, NSBE is working to realize the integration of policy, advocacy, and racial equity into the learning journey for Black engineering students and encourage the higher education system to better focus on the needs of these students.

Rochelle L. Williams, Ph.D., NSBE’s chief programs and membership officer, said of receiving the grant: “NSBE is grateful to PSEG Foundation for acknowledging the critical importance of our work toward more racially inclusive, more effective engineering education in U.S. colleges and universities. The resources provided by this grant will help bring about the cultural change we have long been seeking, to enable Black STEM talent, and U.S. economic competitiveness, to reach their full potential.”

Founded in 1975, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. With more than 14,000 members and 650 chapters in the U.S. and abroad, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”

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