ASCE Signs Historic MOU with the National Society of Black Engineers

February 27, 2015
ASCE Executive Director, Thomas W. Smith III (left), and President, Robert D. Stevens (center left) sign a Memorandum of Understanding with NSBE President, Sossena Wood and Executive Director Karl Reed.

ASCE Executive Director Thomas W. Smith III (left), and President Robert D. Stevens (center left) sign a Memorandum of Understanding with NSBE National Chairperson Sossena Wood and Executive Director Karl Reed. Photo Credit: Constance Thompson

As part of its commitment to developing and implementing a more comprehensive, integrated, and strategic focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and within the civil engineering profession, ASCE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 24 with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to “collaboratively provide the leadership needed to inspire, attract, develop, and retain our current and next generation of black engineering leaders.”

The MOU specifically outlines the collaborative and accountable actions ASCE and NSBE are obliged to undertake to address diversity and inclusion in the U.S. engineering workforce. It also establishes a formal relationship between NSBE and ASCE as strategic partners, and each organization will recognize the other as such in appropriate publications and products.

“This MOU expands upon what was in our previous agreement,” says ASCE President Robert D. Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, who signed the MOU along with ASCE Executive Director Thomas W. Smith III, ENV SP, CAE, M.ASCE, during a ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington D.C. “Both organizations agreed to offer membership reciprocity benefits[,] which will our encourage membership in both organizations.

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“I believe this MOU will do even more to help both ASCE and NSBE enhance diversity and inclusion in our engineering profession,” says ASCE President Robert D. Stevens. Photo Credit: Constance Thompson

“It was such an honor for me to be part of this MOU signing on behalf of ASCE and to know that our cooperation with NSBE has been successful and will now offer members of both engineering organizations even greater opportunity and benefits. I believe this MOU will do even more to help both ASCE and NSBE enhance diversity and inclusion in our engineering profession.”

“I am extremely proud of how far the National Society of Black Engineers has come in its first 40 years of operation,” added NSBE National Chairperson Sossena Wood, who signed the MOU on behalf of NSBE along with Executive Director Karl Reed, Ph.D. “This memorandum of understanding with the American Society of Civil Engineers is another major step forward for NSBE. I look forward to a long-term relationship between our two societies in supporting our members, building our organizations, growing the number of underrepresented engineers, and accomplishing much for the U.S. engineering profession.”

With this MOU, ASCE and NSBE pledge to partner to advance the mutual goals of both organizations through collaborative efforts on membership; they also plan to create relevant continuing education and professional development webinars and seminars, develop reciprocal Chapter, Section, and Branch engagement, and collaborate on networking, mentoring, and public outreach activities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 African Americans represented 5.5% of the U.S. engineering workforce and 5.4% of the civil engineering workforce.

1 Comment
  • Elayne Gomes-Battle

    Hi i just ran across this article and am interested in having my daughter Adrianna Battle involved with these groups. Adrianna is a junior at Virginia Tech , majoring in material sciences engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. She is a member of VT NSBE chapter and their PCI initiative. She also is a NSBE scholarship recipient. Adrianna is also a member of SWE. It has been difficult for her trying to find a good mentor. This in my opinion is what is needed to help girls/minorities stay in engineering fields. I would love to get her connected to he Northern VA engineering community. She is searching for her second summer internship or
    co-op now. Any info would be appreciated. Thank you. Elayne Gomes-Battle

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