Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) partnered last month to increase the number of U.S. black engineers produced each year.
Kappa Alpha Psi Grand Polemarch Thomas L. Battles Jr. and NSBE National Chair Matthew C. Nelson met at NSBE World Headquarters in Alexandria, VA Friday, Sept. 16 to sign a formal agreement that outlines the collaboration of both organizations. The partnership aligns with NSBE’s primary goal in its 10-year strategic plan to increase the number of African-American bachelor’s degree recipients in engineering from 3,501 in 2014 to 10,000 annually by 2025.
“Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity thanks the National Society of Black Engineers, NSBE, for your leadership…and for the engineers and leaders you are producing all across this country,” said Kappa Alpha Psi Grand Polemarch Thomas L. Battles Jr., the fraternity’s highest-ranking officer. “I think that it was probably in His design that we would come to this decision at this time, given the many challenges (black people) are facing in this country. And so we are delighted to partner with you in this initiative.”
NSBE National Chair Matthew C. Nelson said that both Greek organizations and professional ones like NSBE have a common goal.
“Greek fraternity culture has played a pivotal role in young men becoming male models of stature and integrity once they come of age,” he said. “Your work is really important, and it aligns with NSBE’s mission. Positively impacting the community is something both organizations do very well.”
With the agreement, NSBE and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity have pledged to promote and facilitate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and career readiness for precollege students from underrepresented groups in these fields. Both organizations have youth programs that will participate in STEM programming including the National Society of Black Engineers’ NSBE Jr. Chapters and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity’s Guide Right National Service Program.
The organizations will also create six Regional Guide Right NSBE Jr. chapters, to provide students in grades 3–12 with supplemental STEM curricula and exposure to STEM concepts and career opportunities.
Marlon Ridley, a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and NSBE who provided the leadership to structure the partnership, said that the Black community needs this type of initiative.
“Our country is experiencing a paradigm shift in economic opportunity and social mobility,” he said. “Organizations like NSBE and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity have a rich history of uplifting the African-American community and this partnership will give students tools to excel in this digital economy and expands the nation’s workforce of scientists and engineers.”