Our commitment

The Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education is dedicated to providing resources to all Northeastern students, staff, faculty, and alumni in order to cultivate entrepreneurial and problem-solving mindsets. The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, as well as the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubery and many others, sparked movement on our campuses, local communities, and the national stage. On June 2nd, 2020, we made a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and since then we have been asking ourselves what more we can do to ensure that our support goes further than a single statement. A small group of students, heavily involved in the day-to-day matters of the Sherman Center, together with Center leadership, have prepared this document: a list of demands for our center, our community, and ourselves, to better educate and support all students under our care.

First and foremost, we must acknowledge that our community is not at all racially or ethnically diverse, and is predominantly composed of white and non-Black people of color (NBPOC). The student leadership and staff in our community has tried to tackle this issue by attempting to recruit students from other engineering and business organizations, including those that are geared toward students of color, and by having student leadership participate in hiring and inclusivity training. These strategies, unfortunately, have not had high levels of success. This leads us to believe that we must instead take a critical look at what happens before recruitment - the content of our community - and commit to actively creating a truly welcoming environment through our actions and messaging.

With this in mind, we collectively take this document as an acknowledgment of our shortcomings and, more importantly, as a commitment to anti-racism and active allyship with the Black community and other systemically oppressed voices. To be a member of our community means to internalize, believe in, and exhibit the following commitment:

We, as a community, demand of ourselves...

a commitment to the following ideals now and moving forward:

At the end of each academic year, the Sherman Center leadership shall assess progress, possible goal revisions and additions, acknowledge faults, and collectively update and publicly post progress, ongoing efforts, and ideas to attain established, revised and new goals moving forward.

In conclusion

We believe that, through these goals and commitments, that we are taking an ongoing stance against the institutionalized racism within the education system. We hope that other organizations practice active allyship, beyond a statement of solidarity, and we hope that this document will pave the way for future action.

Our Actions

Acknowledgment

This initial commitment was made possible by the hard work of our Sherman community in May-August 2020. We honor those who spend their time and emotional capital to write this commitment, which now serves as a guiding light and foundational piece of our Sherman community operations.

Special and heartfelt thanks to Noah Joseph, Juna Kim, Sonny Diep, Emma Sombers, Maria Zapata, Kendall Meenan, Alice Loukianova, Lisa Byrne, Andrea Lacunza, Erin Galt, Izzy Stepanek, Nick Kaffine, Eamon McCarthy, Emily McMichael, Samantha Yip, Aya Aragon, Brooke Lenes, Keith Corso, Andrew Gouldstone, Richard Harris, and Ted Johnson for their commitment and actions towards this shared vision.