Leadership summit to address African-American community's presence in STEM fields

The State of Black Arizona will host a leadership summit to address the African-American community's presence in and preparation to enter science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields – growing areas of demand for 21st century workers.

The STEM Leadership Summit is scheduled to take place at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28. at the Arizona Community Foundation.

Based on a recent report by Georgetown University, 67 percent of all jobs available in the United States by 2020 will require some post-secondary education, ranging from a vocational certificate to a graduate degree. The share of educated workers required for STEM jobs will be even greater. However, socioeconomic gaps within the minority population in Arizona and nationwide will make them less able to compete for these jobs. 

The STEM Leadership Summit will provide insights on family characteristics, as well as school characteristics for Arizona’s black population that influence their educational aspirations and career choices relative to STEM fields. These include a variety of topics ranging from childhood poverty and parent education and occupation to school racial composition and the presence of STEM intervention programs.

Additionally, the event will unveil the launch of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s interactive map that illustrates recent findings with the aim of influencing industries, post-secondary institutions and policymakers.

"Integral to the state of black Arizona is providing valid data," says Kimberly Scott, associate professor at ASU. "This project presents unprecedented information that should inspire all of our state's community leaders, policymakers, educators and administrators to consider what it means to have a workforce prepared to address 21st century STEM demands.”

This project was supported by a State Farm grant.