Photos: Stem Nola\YouTube
On the fall 2022 debut of the Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie podcast, Dr. Mackie discusses the importance of greater equity in STEM education with Frank L. Gettridge, president, and CEO of the National Public Education Support Fund (NPESF).
In the wide-ranging conversation, Dr. Mackie states that there is still considerable work needed to achieve racial equity in STEM education.
“Many of the people in STEM…didn’t come from those neighborhoods and communities that we came from,” Dr. Mackie says during the conversation, referring to the New Orleans urban neighborhoods where he and Dr. Gettridge grew up. “So, they have a challenge in even believing that kids who are coming out of despair can get to hope and achieve in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Gettridge says he is working on improving the understanding of STEM through an equity focus and has seen progress in the funder community and policy arenas.
“So, one of the things I figured out in the policy arena was that there are a lot of well-intended folks making decisions about communities that look like mine, but there wasn’t any representation of people in the room who look like the people who I grew up with in my community,” Dr. Gettridge says. “And so, a need to have that voice and have that perspective in the policy space is one of the things that I started focusing on.”
At the NPESF, Dr. Gettridge says he supports philanthropic networks in addressing education issues and improving learning, with a focus on equity, policy, and social justice. “We care about everything from youth to policy to equitable data, you name it,” he adds. “It’s fun coming together and try to figure out what are collaborative ways that we can solve some of these issues.”
LISTEN NOW: https://open.spotify.com/show/6vW5rZ8CbqVVckS37K26kB?si=71f6315a75be4d13&nd=1