#BLACKandSTEM 05/29/14

These days, self-promotion is more than what you put on your resume.  It encompasses how you represent yourself in many different formats – on paper and online.  The #BLACKandSTEM community contains a wealth of knowledge, experience, creativity, and compassion.  But how do we leverage all the we are into more successful blogs, features in top media outlets as writers and as experts, influence in policy, and flourishing careers?

Today’s #BLACKandSTEM topic is self-promotion.  The question to get things rolling is:  How do you self-promote?

@DrQualls of entropiaconsulting.com and @dwescott1 of APCO worldwide will be our featured experts.  They both represent expertise in public relations, professional development, and personal branding.  Chime in and ask them questions directly!

As usual, respond throughout the day, there is no set time.

Also, let’s keep meeting and greeting each other and continue last week’s #BLACKandSTEM, introduce yourself to and follow 3 #BLACKandSTEM-ers.

Special chats are forthcoming on the FIRST Act (continue following @blackphysicists for updates) and Coates’ The Case for Reparations!

Click here for storify.

05/22/14 #BLACKandSTEM

#BLACKandSTEM has been about business lately, so I wanted today’s chat to be a bit of a Meet & Greet.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Follow and introduce yourself to at least 3 people on the #BLACKandSTEM twitter list (if link doesn’t work, go to @thepurplepage twitter page, click ‘lists’ on the left hand column, then select the #BLACKandSTEM list, click ‘list members; on the left hand column)
  2. Introduce two friends on twitter who are Black and STEM to the community.

If someone follows and makes in introduction to you first, it doesn’t count as your 3.

As usual, this #BLACKandSTEM chat will go on all day, so jump in when you can and have some fun with it.

05/15/14 #BLACKandSTEM

I try to peruse the #BLACKandSTEM set for the latest news and important topics.  It’s how I stay on top of the “what’s what” and “who’s who” amongst us.  I often try to keep an eye out for what might be a good topic for the Thursday chats – the news has been pretty stressful (with topics such as the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls), a lot of people have been finishing out semesters (taking exams or grading), quite a few people are writing papers or working on dissertations, and I’ve peeped a few allnighters spend coding or analyzing data.  I see med school students running around behind their attendings and volunteering their services for those less fortunate.

I took a step back and realized that, yes, we can talk about all the individual situations and circumstances that we find ourselves in as #BLACKandSTEM.  But we should also talk about how we keep our heads and take care of ourselves in the process.  Especially considering the perceived rules within the Black community for how we deal with mental issues.

At times, I feel as if I have more on my plate than I can handle.  Or there are one or two things going on that are tough to manage.  Sometimes I tweet about some of it.  However, I have tons of stuff going on that I choose not to tweet about, so it is not a stretch for me to imagine that the rest of #BLACKandSTEM is in the same boat of needing to stop and make sure we are devoting time to our mental health.

I hope to start helpful and encouraging exchange with today’s question:  Have you ever used therapy?  Feel free to share (if you feel comfortable) about what prompted you to start utilizing therapy.

Don’t forget to use the #BLACKandSTEM hashtag in your responses.  We can’t keep up with each other’s responses without the hashtag!

Click here for storify.

05/08/14 #BLACKandSTEM

This week’s #BLACKandSTEM is for the undergrads!

For #BLACKandSTEM undergrads:

  • Share your awards, recognitions, or any other good news!
  • If you need assistance or advice, reach out to the #BLACKandSTEM community
  • Graduates, tweet yourselves in your regalia or school paraphernalia

For #BLACKandSTEM further along:

  • what advice would you give your undergraduate self?

Have a great day, #BLACKandSTEM!

Click here for storify.

You might be interested in policy if…

Today’s (05.01.14) #BLACKandSTEM chat topic revolves around STEM and education policy in a general sense:  what policy matters are important to you, and do you think those issues impact our community differently or disproportionately?

I asked a third question regarding which policy-related activities do the #BLACKandSTEM community participate in.

I realize that, as with most of America, people in this community may be aware of and, even, have an opinion on prominent policy matters.  But do they see a role for themselves in the process of informing  and building policy?

I decided to come up with this list that might give someone some insight into whether there is some interest in offering more to policy.  There is not particular order to this list.

You might be interested in policy if…

  1. You vote in every election – no matter the level of government
  2. You have chimed in on any debate regarding the importance of HBCUs
  3. You volunteer in churches, schools, community centers so that black children can encounter black success
  4. You have a stance on science funding issues
  5. You have ever felt as if black students are PWI institutions need more support from their institutions
  6. You think that your company or institution has a “responsibility” to facilitate diversity and inclusion
  7. You have an opinion on gender pay equality
  8. You feel as if there aren’t enough black tenured professors at colleges and universities
  9. You know what the phrase “school-to-prison pipeline” means
  10. You think that more should be done to support individuals with disabilities
  11. You have a stance in mental health coverage as a part of student insurance
  12. You spend more than a passing moment watching MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, RT, Frontline, etc
  13. You have participated in barbershop debates about universal healthcare and poverty
  14. You have debated over taxes
  15. You have ever said “we need more women in STEM”
  16. You grew up feeling as if STEM education was not accessible to you or to other black kids at your school and you think that has to change NOW
  17. You follow sociologists, journalists, economists, etc on twitter
  18. You are aware of the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action

If it seems as if this list is getting long, that’s because there are million (literally or figuratively) behaviors that we all commit that are consistent with interests in policy.  As tax-payers, voters, constituents, students, parents, teachers, and/or employees, there are many roles that we can occupy.

  • We can advocate to policy-makers by writing letters, calling, signing petitions visiting with offices of law-makers, attending public government meetings, or serving on government advisory boards.
  • We can advocate to voters on issues that are important to our community by writing op-eds for news papers, write articles for blogs, commit to outreach in our schools and churches, and share articles and resources with family and friends – even if they aren’t STEM.
  • We can communicate issues to our communities that may impact us through media outlets that primarily serve the black community.  Pitch an article or participate in twitter chats.

There are also roles that encompass more of our time, making policy more like our day jobs.

  • Policy fellowships put you in the position to invest more energy into learning about policy, lobbying, producing programming, doing policy research
  • Starting/participating in policy groups at your job or institutions
  • Running for office – there are many offices that could use the insight and passion of those who stand at our intersection of #BLACKandSTEM from city council on up.

I encourage us all to consider our voices valid on policy issues.  As #BLACKandSTEM we have unique perspectives that are extremely important to the discourse.  Consider putting your voice to use on the issues that you care about!

A good place to start is to contact your professional organizations’ public affairs offices and see which activities they are facilitating.  My go-to organizations are:

If you need more information, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send a tweet to @BLACKandSTEM!





05/01/14 #BLACKandSTEM

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of policy is:

  1. a :  prudence or wisdom in the management of affairs b :  management or procedure based primarily on material interest
  2. a :  a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisionsb :  a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body (bold emphasis added by author)

Policy impacts our lives through the multiple levels (federal, state, municipal) of government and the institutions where we work and attend school.  As #BLACKandSTEM, we may encounter policy issues in the forms of debate over building a sustainable research infrastructure, the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, and accessibility of STEM education to African American children –  just to name a few.

Today’s #BLACKandSTEM focuses on STEM/Education policy issues and how they may impact our community differently.

I hope that today’s #BLACKandSTEM inspires positive discourse on various issues and enlightens us all on where #BLACKandSTEM can do more to inform policy makers on the issues that are important to us.

Here are the questions:

  1. What are STEM and/or education policy matters that are important to you right now?
  2. What are ways in which these issues may affect the #BLACKandSTEM community differently or disproportionately?
  3. What policy-related activities are you involved in?

Spin-off discussions are encouraged.

As usual, respond at your convenience through-out the day and REMEMBER TO USE THE #BLACKandSTEM HASHTAG!!

Look for the “you might be interested in STEM policy if…” post later today!


“Policy.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/policy&gt;.