The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Aerospace Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE Aerospace SIG) have announced a collaboration to benefit each group’s members through reciprocal membership opportunities and joint activities. The groups have been working together on events and initiatives throughout the year leading to this formalized agreement.
The organizations share a deep commitment to increasing active participation by Black professionals in the engineering profession specifically and the aerospace industry more broadly. The AIAA Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (DWG) is focused on raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion, publishing its Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2021-2023 to create new opportunities for improving diversity and inclusion across the AIAA community.
“We are thrilled to work even more closely with the Aerospace Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers,” commented AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher. “AIAA regions and sections will have numerous opportunities to work with their NSBE counterparts on the local level by developing joint programs for professional and university members, as well as STEM K-12 events.”
Key benefits to AIAA and NSBE members include:
- Discounts on membership dues with the other organization
- Access to member rates for events hosted by the other organization
The Aerospace Special Interest Group of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE Aerospace SIG) is a strategic technical function within the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a global organization founded in 1975, comprising of more than 24,600 members worldwide. The NSBE Aerospace SIG was started in 2003 with a mission to stimulate active aerospace industry participation by equipping members and partners of all generations with tools to create and innovate aerospace solutions throughout their lifetime. As a platform for aerospace industry-specific technical research, technical development, outreach, and advocacy programming, the NSBE Aerospace SIG provides both a network and pipeline for students and professionals to enter and grow within the aerospace industry. For more information, visit www.nsbe-aerospace.org , or follow NSBE Aerospace on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Members can get involved locally with AIAA regions and sections and AIAA student branches, as well as NSBE chapters.
“The partnership between AIAA and NSBE Aerospace SIG represents aerospace diversity in action. Together, we are intentionally fostering a platform for technical collaboration across the industry,” said Enanga Fale, Director, NSBE Aerospace SIG.
During 2021, AIAA and NSBE Aerospace SIG hosted a free online program on Martin Luther King Jr. Day featuring black aviation and aerospace heroes entitled, “A Tribute to Service: Community, Country, and Humanity.” The groups also hosted a Future Workforce Workshop as part of the ASCENDxSummit: Accelerating the Next-Generation Workforce, along with the Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the AIAA Young Professionals Group.
“This agreement is an important step in our daily efforts to increase the diversity of the aerospace workforce. We know we have a long way to go. The aerospace community simply does not yet reflect society in terms of race and gender,” Dumbacher concluded.
The recent “2021 AIAA State of the Industry Report” cites that nearly 50% of respondents agreed that the most significant perceived benefits to promoting DEI is increasing the pipeline of skilled professionals in the aerospace industry.