Robert Baptiste – CMAA Panel Discussion Robert Baptiste, director of C.O.D.E (Creating Opportunities for Diversity and Equality) helped to arrange and moderate the CMAA Metro NY NJ panel discussion on February 11th: Contributions of Minorities and Women in Construction presentation. It was a great event and an inspiration to continue to make Black History…NOW! Relevant topics from barriers that women and minorities encounter in the AEC industry; changes in the next 5-10 years that will affect how the way AEC firms operate and how minorities can prepare for this shift; constructive changes and actions of leadership that can foster an inclusive, inviting, and productive environment; and how we can design, build and manage a better AEC industry as we witness changes occurring across the globe in: social injustice, pay inequalities and healthcare.
2021 ResourcesHere are a few resources to help you explore more during this year's Black History Month.Ask your smart device to, “Open Black History facts” Amazon’s Alexa Skill will deliver daily facts from talented voices that are passionate about sharing relatable Black History Month inspiration.For the month of February, Spotify is recognizing and uplifting the rich history of voices of the Black community through guest-curated playlist takeovers, brand-new podcasts, and more.With the NYC Parks Virtual Exhibit, you can learn more about Black culture and history in New York City and the parks that tell their stories.
Photo Credit: Click Here Garrett Morgan Garrett Morgan blazed a trail for African American inventors with his patents, including those for a hair-straightening product, a breathing device, a revamped sewing machine and an improved traffic signal. With only an elementary school education, Garrett Morgan began his career as a sewing-machine mechanic. He went on to patent several inventions, including an improved sewing machine and traffic signal, a hair-straightening product, and a respiratory device that would later provide the blueprint for WWI gas masks. The inventor died on July 27, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio. Citation: Biography.com Editors. “Garrett Morgan Biography” https://www.biography.com/inventor/garrett-morgan
Photo Credit: Click Here Vice President Kamala HarrisKamal Harris is the first Black female Vice President of the United States of America. She was elected Vice President after a lifetime of public service, having been elected District Attorney of San Francisco, California Attorney General, and United States Senator.Prior to winning the Vice Presidency, Kamala Harris took office in January 2017 becoming the first Indian American in the Senate and just the second Black woman. She began serving on both the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee, among other assignments.Citation: Gregory Lewis McNamee. “Kamala Harris Vice President of the United States” https://britannica.com/biography/Kamala-Harris
Photo Credit: Click Here Hattie Scott Peterson Believed to be the first African American women to obtain a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Hattie Scott Peterson graduated from Howard University in 1946. Following her degree, Hattie worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a survey and cartographic engineer. She achieved another “first” when she joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where she encouraged other women to follow the engineering career. She was a member of multiple associations and is granted the Inspirational Award annually from the Sacramento district of the USACE in her honor. Citation: PeoplePill. “Hattie Scott Peterson: American Engineer – Image Gallery.” PeoplePill, peoplepill.com/people/hattie-scott-peterson/gallery/.
Photo Credit: Click Here Hugh G. Robinson Hugh G. Robinson received his master’s degree in civil engineering from MIT. A high-ranking engineering general in the Army, Robinson was the first black soldier to serve as military aide to a president (Lyndon Johnson) in 1965. 13 years later, he was promoted, and served as a general officer in the Corps of Engineers. Robinson moved on to become VP of Southland Corporation, where he oversaw the corporation’s construction of a large new office in Dallas, Texas. He served as a chairman, then vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, as well as chairman and CEO of a Dallas construction management company that worked in minority business development, as well as affordable housing. Citation: “Historical Vignette 080 – The Corps of Engineers’ First African American General.” Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, www.usace.army.mil/About/History/Historical-Vignettes/Women-Minorities/080-African-American-General/.
Photo Credit: Click Here Shirley Chisholm Shirley Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and was the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. She was also the first black woman to run for President of the United States. Shirley Chisholm was a politician, educator, and author who advocated for women and minorities, and said, “I want to be remembered as a woman … who dared to be a catalyst of change.” Citation: Michals, Debra. “Shirley Chisholm.” National Women’s History Museum, www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/shirley-chisholm.
Photo Credit: Click Here William DammondAs African American History Month comes to an end, we reflect on all the individuals that paved the way for the AEC industry, and conclude with William Dammond.William Dammond was an educator and civil engineer that was known for his hatred towards railroad accidents! He was the first African-American graduate of the University of Pittsburg and graduated with honors.In Michigan, he worked as an assistant bridge engineer and invented an electric signaling system, earning a patent for his creation. In 1906 he also issued a patent for his railroad operating safety system, and was recognized for his work in 1915 by the Michigan Manual of Freedmen’s Progress, a notable publication of African-Americans in the state of Michigan.Citation: “William Hunter Dammond, African American Famous Inventor (1873-1956).” Pree Worldwide, preedammond.weebly.com/mymind/1.
Photo Credit: Click Here Archie Alexander Archie Alexander was an engineer, architect and mathematician. Archie earned the nickname “Archie the Great” at the University of Iowa, where he was the first African American to graduate from their engineering program. After working for Marsh Engineers in Minnesota as the head of their bridge building program, he ventured off to create his own engineering company, Alexander & Repass. He spent the remainder of his life working with his classmate and partner Maurice Repass, constructing and working on many well-known roads and bridges in the DC area like the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the Whitehurst Freeway, and the Tidal Basin Bridge. Citation: Archie A. Alexander, www.cpnas.org/aahp/biographies/alexander-archie.html?fbclid=IwAR2m0Dg8XIyRdtdKrUumF1GVgQDrybBoQd2pcib-lKJI7D1qH5JU3_GXH-I.
Photo Credit: Click Here Elijah McCoyAt just 15 years old, Elijah McCoy ventured to Scotland and came back with a degree in Mechanical Engineering! Within his lifetime, he held 57 patents and invented many well-known popular products including an automatic lubrication system for steam engines.The term “real McCoy” was coined after other companies tried copying his products, but did not work as well. People would say they wanted the “Real McCoy.”As the son of two runaway slaves, McCoy is a true inspiration and a respected member in the industry!Citation: Kershner, Kate. “Famous Black Engineers Throughout History.” HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 27 Jan. 2020, science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/structural/famous-black-engineers2.htm.