FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2020
City of Industry, California — The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was launched in 1974 to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its full potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. As an organization that advocates for diversity and inclusion, and to give a voice to an under-represented community, it’s our responsibility to stand up and fight injustice to our brothers and sisters of color.
We are outraged by the violent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the countless victims of systemic racism and brutality against the Black community that has persisted for centuries. To echo the words of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Board Chair Jocelyn Jackson, these are “all victims of a shameful legacy of hate” and they deserve justice. In solidarity, we must stand up and demand justice. We demand an end to the senseless deadly violence against Black Americans. We demand that our country do better to combat systemic racism. Black lives matter.
SHPE remains focused on our core mission and vision as an organization. However, as part of our call to fight systemic racism, we are committed to make change happen from within SHPE. To that end, we have committed to the following:
- To publicly support and be allies to the Black community.
- To organize cultural awareness training for our community to cover topics like intersectionality, colorism, and bias.
- To encourage members who identify as Afro-Latinx to share their experiences and offer ideas on how we can be more supportive.
- To work together with other sister organizations to shape and disseminate public statements of solidarity; to create action plans that lift the underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields.
- To facilitate a series of member dialogues around the topics of cultural awareness, bias, and understanding.
- To listen to our members’ inspirations and ideas about how to improve.
Also, as a founding member of the 50K Coalition in 2015, along with the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American-Indian Science and Engineering Society, SHPE has committed to working collectively to increase the numbers of engineering graduates from underrepresented populations to 50,000 by 2025.
The SHPE values have never meant more than they do right now. As we grieve the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed, we look again to our values to guide our response and behavior. Familia means that we take responsibility for our collective strength and challenge each other to be our best. Service means we commit the highest levels of quality, integrity, and ethical behavior; and we act with empathy, patience, and understanding. Education means we are dedicated to continuous improvement and renewal; and we learn from successes, setbacks, and each other. And Resilience means we embrace our diverse cultures and communities, which enable us to adapt, thrive, and persist with optimism.
We embrace these values now more than ever. And we will use them to guide our actions in the days and months ahead as we commit to being an ally to the Black community in the fight for justice and equality.
SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) is a nonprofit organization serving and advancing Hispanics in STEM. With more than 13,000 student and professional members, SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. To accomplish this, SHPE provides a variety of programming, services, resources, and events, including hosting the largest Hispanic STEM convention in the nation. For more information, visit http://shpe.org.