Promoting professional development, networking, education, and youth outreach in the fields of science and engineering
On July 12, 1970, 34 concerned African American engineers and several from the Caribbean and Africa living in the Bay Area and Sacramento met at the home of Howard Grant in San Francisco. The purpose of the meeting was to establish camaraderie, and to act as a pressure group as needed to enhance the professional opportunities of Black engineers. Initially, emphasis was placed on becoming registered Professional Engineers, largely because more than two-thirds of the original members were civil engineers. Later, as the disciplines represented in the organization began to diversify, more scientists joined. Today, the organization addresses the needs of scientists and engineers.
In 1974, the organization was incorporated as a non- profit organization in the State of California, and in 1986 it achieved exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization formed for charitable and educational purposes.
Services for Youth and Education
Although professional development continues to be emphasized, the need to encourage more young African Americans to enter technical fields has become more apparent. Activities are designed to motivate youth and to increase public awareness of the impact of technology on their lives and future. The organization has sponsored high school field trips, provided speakers, and hosted conferences for the past 30 years, mostly for African American college, local high school and middle school students.
NCCBPE sponsors an annual trip for several hundred students to the UC Davis Open House, to introduce them to the engineering science facilities. It has also developed scholarship programs including: The Spirit of Unity Scholarship Fund, an academic scholarship funded by members, the F.E. Jordan Scholarship, and several corporate scholarships.
NCCBPE’s Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village conducts and develops hands-on demonstrations focusing on discovery of science and engineering, and on African Americans’ contributions to those areas. It works with parents, teachers and students to tailor activities for their special needs, and to meet the California science education standards.
National and Global Reach
In the late 1970′s, NCCBPE took the leadership role in establishing a regional network with the other two African American engineering organizations in Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle. This network became the Western Regional Science and Engineering Council. One of the NCCBPE members founded the Arizona Council of Black Engineers and Scientists. Currently, NCCBPE is a member council of the National Council of Black Engineers and Scientists which superseded the Western Regional Council. Today, NCCBPE strives to work with other technical groups to realize their goals to promote technical awareness and youth motivation. Efforts are not restricted to the United States, but are extended to the African Diaspora.
NCCBPE is a member and one of the founders of the National Council of Black Engineers and Scientists. It has begun to collaborate with other African American Technical Organizations in events like the Unity Banquet. NCCBPE’s International Committee has taken a leadership role in developing a working relationship with the African Regional Technology Center in Dakar, Senegal. The main objective of the relationship is to establish technical links between African and African American engineers and scientists to assist in the science led development of Africa. Current projects include the introduction of Solar Technology to villagers in Ghana to improve their quality of life, and a pilot educational exchange between other members of the African Diaspora.
Learn more about this fine organization at: www.ncalifblackengineers.org