Dear NSBE Family Member,

I hope and pray that this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. I don’t have to tell you that these are unprecedented times. The world is in crisis, and virtually no one has been spared the effects of the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus.

I’m proud of the way our members at the chapter, regional and national levels rally to support one another. Recently, we learned that scores of NSBE members were stranded when their colleges abruptly closed their doors and transitioned to online classes. Many of our members lacked the financial resources to vacate their dorms, purchase food, travel home and continue their learning online. More than 140 members applied for the NSBE Emergency Scholarship Fund. After sending an appeal to NSBE Professionals and other stakeholders for support, we have raised more than $22,000 to date that will be used to meet these needs.

In the face of crisis, the extended NSBE family has stepped up to lift others. This is what NSBE Luv really means!

NSBE Is Weathering the Storm

In early March, NSBE’s National Executive Board (NEB) made the difficult decision to postpone our Annual Convention from March to this coming August 19–23, 2020. It was the right thing to do. Now, our planning for an in-person convention continues in earnest. And we’re beginning to see good signs. Texas — where we’re hosting our convention — recently lifted its stay-at-home order, and many other states have made plans to safely do the same. More than 5,000 members have already registered for the Annual Convention, and we expect many more to do so in the coming weeks.

NSBE Is Preparing for a Changed World

A recent Harvard Business Review article suggests that businesses should “prepare for a changed world.” NSBE is doing just that. We’re adapting quickly to this “new normal.” For instance, our National Transition Meeting (NTM) for the 2020–21 national and regional board members was recently conducted completely virtually. And our inaugural Virtual Career Fair, held April 30 and May 1, hosted 8,000 registered students and professionals who engaged with more than 150 recruiters, all from the comfort of their homes!

Here at NSBE World Headquarters (WHQ), we’re beginning to game-plan what the Annual Convention could look like in an era of social distancing. In all of these scenarios, we’ll be strictly following CDC guidelines for these decisions, to ensure that the safety of the expected thousands of participants remains our top priority.

We’re living in a much different world than that which existed just two months ago! It’s fascinating to me that “social distancing,” “contact tracing,” and “flattening the curve” are now entrenched in our lexicon. And yet, our circumstances also remind us why we do what we do. Engineers have always stepped up to solve the world’s most complex problems — whether electrifying the world or mitigating food insecurity. I have no doubt that we’ll rise to this challenge as well, from developing novel testing and contact tracing technology to mass-producing 3D-printed masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment for frontline workers.

Engineers have always been at the forefront of innovation and change. I expect no less from our members today.
Karl W. Reid, Ed.D.
Executive Director
National Society of Black Engineers
In the face of crisis, the extended NSBE family has stepped up to lift up others. This is what NSBE Luv really means!