US Army Corps of Engineers
Pittsburgh District

Pittsburgh District celebrates Black History Month with an engineering twist

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District
Published March 4, 2016
Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District had the opportunity to learn more about the National Society of Black Engineers Professional Chapter and the Pittsburgh Urban League during a Black History Month presentations by guest speakers Riedolia Moore-Ellis, NSBE Pittsburgh Professional Chapter president, and Lachelle Binion from the Pittsburgh Urban League, Feb. 25.

Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District had the opportunity to learn more about the National Society of Black Engineers Professional Chapter and the Pittsburgh Urban League during a Black History Month presentations by guest speakers Riedolia Moore-Ellis, NSBE Pittsburgh Professional Chapter president, and Lachelle Binion from the Pittsburgh Urban League, Feb. 25.

Riedolia Moore-Ellis, National Society of Black Engineers Pittsburgh Professionals Chapter president, and Lachelle Binion from the Pittsburgh Urban League, received district cups and commander’s coins from Maj. Cornelius Batts, district deputy commander, after their Black History Month presentation, Feb. 25 at the Federal Building in Pittsburgh.

Riedolia Moore-Ellis, National Society of Black Engineers Pittsburgh Professionals Chapter president, and Lachelle Binion from the Pittsburgh Urban League, received district cups and commander’s coins from Maj. Cornelius Batts, district deputy commander, after their Black History Month presentation, Feb. 25 at the Federal Building in Pittsburgh.

As an observance during Black History Month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District hosted speakers from the National Society of Black Engineers Pittsburgh Professionals Chapter, and the Pittsburgh Urban League, Feb. 25.

Riedolia Moore-Ellis, President of the National Society of Black Engineers Pittsburgh Professionals Chapter and Lachelle Binion from the Pittsburgh Urban League, spoke to an audience of 39 district personnel. The pair held a discussion about the benefits and importance of cultural diversity within the engineer field, and how their individual organizations can help to create opportunities. The overall goal of the event was outreach, networking and partnership planning for the future. 

“We want to get the word out about the community-based organizations that fit with the values of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” said Robert Turner, Pittsburgh District equal opportunity officer.

The program provided Pittsburgh District employees an opportunity to gain a better understanding of two organizations with aligned engineering interest from the area. Additionally, it was a chance for those outside organizations to define roles that partners can play to enhance diversity and teamwork among engineering peers.

According to Jeanine Hoey, Engineering and Construction Branch chief, helping these two organization grow can help the engineering field continue to diversify and strengthen future engineers professionally.    

“As these organizations get up and running with technical programs, we can participate with their programs, help present features and offer support similar to what we offer organizations such as the Society of American Military Engineers,” said Hoey.

Recognizing the role diversity plays in building a strong organization, Turner encourages members of the organization to not only attend diversity programming, but to become a part of the solution through increased communication.

“We’re so happy to have had the opportunity to speak here because opportunities like these can lead to partnerships that move us forward as a people,” said Turner.

But, the event was about more than the organizations and partnering – it was about Black History.

History.com traces Black History Month’s roots to 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson promoted the idea of celebrating black culture over the course of the second week in February. The week was intended to be a celebration of the culture, contributions, and history of Americans whose ancestors are derived from the African continental diaspora.

Woodson chose the second week because it included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week long observation eventually expanded to encompass all of February and garner recognition from every U.S. president since 1976. 

At the end of the event, each speaker was presented with a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers coffee mug and a commanders’ coin in appreciation for their contribution the district’s Black History Month event.

“Black History Month is an important opportunity to celebrate diversity, and a way to inform all people of the contributions and rich history of African Americans” notes Turner.

 

 

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