September 29, 2008
Nominations are open for the 2008 Benjamin Banneker Legacy Awards. We invite you and your colleagues to visit the Banneker Institute website at www.thebannekerinstitute.org to nominate worthy candidates. Nominations close October 15, 2008 and Awards will be bestowed upon the winners at the Benjamin Banneker Legacy Awards Gala in
This has been a busy year for the Banneker Institute. At the 2007 Gala, we announced our intention to implement an organization-based strategy for increasing the number of African Americans involved in STEM fields. This was accomplished on June 3rd, with Dr. John Slaughter, President of NACME, as Convener, House Majority Whip, Congressman James Clyburn, as Keynote Speaker, and David K. Owens, Executive Vice President of the Edison Electric Institute as MC, the Black science membership organizations gathered on Capitol Hill for a spirited Roundtable to launch this strategy. The notion here is twofold: first, Black science membership organizations represent a resource that can be mobilized to improve the quality of science education available in under-resourced K-12 classrooms across the nation; and second, engaging Black scientist in national science policy debates will enhance their visibility, providing much needed role models to young people considering science as a career. Dubbed the Network of Networks, this collaboration is now barely 60 days old and already it is leading to the introduction of new legislation, the formation of new institutions, and the alignment of scarce resources in the pursuit of shared goals.
The Benjamin Banneker Legacy Award was established to honor those investing in the expansion of the pool of Black Scientists. It is singularly appropriate then, that for the 2008 Awards Gala, we have decided exclusively to recognize the contributions of science organizations, particularly Black science membership organizations, to increasing the number of African Americans involved in STEM fields. Arguably, this is their reason for being. They have, many of them been struggling silently in the vineyard for decades and have brought us to where we are today. It is exciting to have the opportunity to shine a light on their accomplishments and to engage with them in collaborative strategies for building on those efforts going forward. Both the Youth Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award will be a part of this year's ceremony as well.
So please go to the Banneker website and nominate any science organization that you feel deserves recognition for its contribution to the Banneker Institute's mission. And remember to include nominations for youth serving organizations, and for the individual whom you believe should receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The nomination forms can be found at www.thebannekerinstitute.org and will be accepted until October 15th. We thank you for your interest and look forward to your continued engagement. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 202-265-8280 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Very truly yours,
Claudia C. Pharis