Mike Green, co-founder of ScaleUp Partners, is passionate about competitiveness and moving a 1% needle that has never been moved. All black-owned businesses today produce less than 1% of GDP and virtually no job growth. That 1% for the African-American sector has never been breached in the history of this nation. Combined with Hispanic businesses, the number is less than 4%. By mid-century that will mean 42% of the US population is producing 4% of its business productivity. That equation undermines America’s global competitiveness.
The room was packed at the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) as faculty, students, and graduates gathered to celebrate the life of one of their own and mourn his passing. Dr. Francis Joseph Jones (1951-2016) was a UC Foundation Professor and the Chemical Program Coordinator at CECS at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The CECS memorial was like an old-fashioned wake with shared stories and heartfelt testimonials for the man that colleagues and family knew as “Frank.”
Back in 1969, when the University of Chattanooga merged with the University of Tennessee system and became the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), the school of engineering became the College of Engineering. The college has consistently reflected the changing nature of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Absorbing computer science in the late 1980s, the college morphed into the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS). Separate departments gradually emerged: Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, followed by Civil and Chemical Engineering. The UTC Engineering Management and Graduate Programs developed into the Engineering Management and Technology department, and Dr. Ed McMahon became one of its chief innovators.
Carvent ‘Leon’ Webb II is the Founder/CEO of The Open Book Foundation based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He created the nonprofit organization in 2013 to bridge the gap between Title I schools and literacy competency. The African American men involved with the nonprofit could no longer sit on the sidelines and watch the education system in these low-income communities deteriorate. According to Webb, “We realized the best way to counteract the decline was through the promotion of literacy.”
I was born in Istanbul, Turkey. My father was a retired Turkish naval officer and I grew up on naval bases. My family sacrificed to educate me and my brother who is a medical doctor. Without an education, you can’t do anything. In Turkey, they kill each other to get a college degree. I attended elementary school early and learned to read early, a rarity in Turkey. These were French schools, and I spoke French before I spoke English.
Ethnic and Racial Disparity in education is a persistent societal problem. In light of changing demographics and an increasingly diverse society, we must find ways to address education disparities and close the gap. Three key factors contribute to differences in education for ethnic and racial minority children: Expectations, Exposure and Environment.