STEM IQ: Leveraging Classroom and Campus Inclusion for Engagement, Collaboration, and Education

So good, afternoon, everyone. Good afternoon. Hi. Let’s get just a little
bit more volume there. Thank you. So thank you all for
coming out this afternoon. I was telling Jason
over here that I’m not quite used to the weather. It’s changing on me in a way
that I can’t quite explain. But I am still very happy
to be in New England and in Cambridge at
this very moment, because I think today’s
session is going to be a really informative one. So for those of you
who do not know me, my name is DiOnetta
Jones Crayton. I’ve been at MIT for– August 1 is 10 years. I know. It’s unbelievable. It’s really like dog years,
so it’s like 70 years. MIT, we love it. So in this role,
I’ve been director of the Office of
Minority Education, and I’m an associate dean in
the Office of Vice Chancellor. And so, of course, our
work centers very much around diversity, equity, and
inclusion, and today’s talk is in that area. So I’m standing before
you now to introduce the speaker for our session,
who is Dr. Calvin Mackie. He’s president and
CEO of Stem Nola, and I’ll explain that
a little bit later. So Dr. Mackie is an
award-winning mentor, and inventor, an author, a
former engineering professor, an internationally
renowned speaker, and a successful entrepreneur. And his message, as
mentor, author, speaker, and entrepreneur, continues
to transcend race, gender, ethnicity, religion, even time. He is a lifelong resident
of New Orleans, Louisiana. Thus, the Nola– New Orleans, Louisiana. You with me now. You see it, right? Which happens to be my
home state, coincidentally. Dr. Mackie graduated
from Morehouse College. He earned a degree in
mathematics– his bachelor’s in mathematics in 1990. He graduated magna
cum laude, and he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He simultaneously completed
his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering
at Georgia Tech, as he was completing
his mathematics degree at Morehouse. And then subsequently,
he earned his master’s and PhDs in engineering also
from Georgia Tech in 1996. So he has a mathematics degree
and three engineering degrees. So it’s not surprising
that Tulane University just scooped him right up after he
graduated from Georgia Tech. And he was on the faculty
there for 12 years before refocusing his career on
entrepreneurship, consulting, and professional speaking. And I’m sure he’ll talk
to you a little bit about the transition
from academia to what he’s doing today. So he’s won numerous awards,
including the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in
Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. He was also bestowed
the highest honor that a graduate of Morehouse
College can receive– it’s called a Candle in
the Dark Bennie Award– for his many academic,
professional, and entrepreneurial
achievements. More recently, he has been
recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
with their Phoenix Award. The Phoenix Award is the
highest award presented by the Congressional
Black Caucus Foundation, and this award
recognizes individuals whose extraordinary achievements
strengthen communities, improve the lives of
individuals and families nationally and globally. So he’s on a lot of different
boards and has been– received a lot of different
appointments, most of which– which are connected
to this work– happen in connection
to the hurricanes in Louisiana, Katrina and Rita. So after those hurricanes,
he was appointed to– by Louisiana governor
Kathleen Blanco to a 33 member board of the
Louisiana Recovery Authority. In 2009, Louisiana Lieutenant
Governor Mitch Landrieu appointed Dr. Mackie to
the Louisiana Council on the Social Status of
Black Boys and Black Men. That will come up
a little bit later. And recently, Louisiana
governor John Bell Edwards appointed Dr. Mackie to the
Coastal Protection Restoration Authority Board. Presently, Dr. Mackie serves
as the president and CEO of the Channel ZerO
Group, LLC, an educational and professional development
consulting company he founded in 1992. And this leads us
to Stem Nola, which is a non-profit organization
founded to expose, inspire, and engage communities about
the opportunities in STEM. And since December
2013, Stem Nola has engaged over
30,000 K through 12 students and their families
in hands-on projects STEM activities. That’s pretty exciting– 30,000. Can we give a hand
please for that? [APPLAUSE] I’m almost done. There’s a lot to say. This is not even the whole bio. So Dr. Mackie has written
to award-winning books, one of which I have here. It’s called A View
From the Roof, Lessons for Life and Business. He talks about lessons that
he’s received from his father, and how they are applicable
to life and business. Very inspirational, so
if you get a chance, you can get this on Amazon,
and on all kinds of platforms. Go and do that. And then he also
wrote a book called Grandma’s Hands, Cherished
Moments of Faith and Wisdom. Dr. Mackie is a devoted husband. His wife’s name is Tracy. He has two sons,
Myles and Mason. Myles is the oldest, and he is
interested in attending MIT, so we may see a Mackie
here in the future. Dr. Mackie was
originally invited to MIT to speak tonight at the
Office of Minority Education’s induction ceremony for our
newest signature program. And it’s a men of color
initiative called the Standard. Thus, his work with black
men, and black boys, and men of color in general
is very applicable to the work we’re doing here today. But we, of course,
wanted this visit to mean more than just
this one opportunity to engage with the
community, so we thought we would
also take advantage of his diverse experiences,
and backgrounds, and expertise in diversity, equity,
inclusion, particularly as it relates to STEM. So this afternoon, he will
speak to us on the topic STEM IQ, which really focuses
on inclusive intelligence, leveraging classroom and campus
inclusion for engagement, collaboration, in education. The presentation will address
the intentional deliberate and proactive acts that increase
institutional inclusive intelligence, helping
people to feel they belong and that they are
uniquely valued. One quote from Dr. Mackie
on this work declares– and I know that
we’ll all agree– if you do not
intentionally, deliberately, and proactively include, then
you unintentionally exclude. So please join me in welcoming
Dr. Calvin Mackie to the stage. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Thank you, DiOnetta. Congratulations
on your 10 years. I remember when you got here. Thank you all for coming out. Thank you all for receiving me. Never in my life
did I thought I’d be given a community-based
presentation at MIT. So to all the
students in the room, I want you to know that
dreams do come true. DiOnetta, thank you
for that introduction. But just to fill in
some of the blanks, I did go to Morehouse College
and I did achieve all that, but I grew up in a
house with no books. My father dropped out of school
in eighth grade to pick cotton. My mother went to a
state-approved negro high school. I got 840 on the SAT. That made me start college
in remedial reading, developmental mathematics. I was told college– I wasn’t college material. I went to Morehouse
for 2 and 1/2 years and got to BS in mathematics,
and then left and went to Georgia Tech. Coming out of high
school, Georgia Tech would even give
me an application based on my test scores. I stayed at Georgia
Tech for 8 and 1/2 years and got everything
Georgia Tech had to offer, including the PhD in
mechanical engineering. Then I went on a Tulane, where
I was born down the street from Tulane. I remember the street warmly
where, as a young black male, I couldn’t even
cross the street. I used to ride my bike, and
when I got to [INAUDIBLE] I had to turn around. And eight blocks
further down was Tulane. I became the first
African-American in the history of the
College of Engineering at Tulane University,
eventually receiving tenure. But in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina, Tulane decided to do
an unbelievable thing in the aftermath of the
greatest engineering disaster in the history of a
free country called America. Tulane decided to keep
the football team, and eliminate the
engineering program. So after living my dream, after
doing things that people said I could not do. After going into
hostile environments where it was never inclusive,
where I was never embraced– after overcoming that, the rug
was snatched from under my feet overnight. My buddy, who was
the football coach, called, and he said, Dr.
Mackie, who’d ever thought I’d still be here at
the football coach and you would be gone as
a tenured faculty member? And I said maybe the young
men in the neighborhood’s got it right. He said, what? I said, maybe I should have
been doing wind sprints, when I was studying calculus. Because the message
that Tulane University sent to a recovering city– the message that many
universities sent to neighborhoods every day– is that you can come to this
university and run that rock, dunk that ball, hit that pill,
stop and drop it like it’s hot, and entertain us,
but don’t you think about coming to this
institution and getting a science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics degree and saving yourself
and your community from the next natural disaster. Just thinking about
inclusiveness, and STEM for all, and making sure
that all of our children and all of our
communities got access to the possibilities
of the 21st century is about empowering
people to put themselves in their communities
in a position, such that they never have
to depend on another man, another woman,
another government to do for them
what they otherwise can do for themselves. So I laid it out there
to let you know that I’ve lived this experience. I have lived this experience. And people say, Mack, you
was at Tulane for 12 years. What happened to
your colleagues? I said, I was at Tulane for
12 years, and the day I left, I have not googled not one name
to see where anyone ended up or how things
turned out for them. And that speaks to my
experience of those 12 years of being in that environment. So when I lost my job
at Tulane, the fact that I had four STEM degrees
allowed me to go out and start an alternative
energy company, where we took waste streams and
built a micro refinery, where we could take
the waste streams and convert to biofuels, and
then sell into the bloodstream. Now that’s gangster. I can say gangster at MIT? I don’t know. I don’t know. We got a gangster president. I just want to know where we at. I just want to know. I’m sorry, DiOnetta, I was
going to try to be professorial. I was going to try
to keep it straight. I tried. I tried with all my heart. Now, that’s gangster. And so since I have
four STEM degrees, I was able to create
a business to take care of me and my family. And that’s the power of STEM. That’s the power
of transformation that we can do for the
history of America, if we expose all communities
to this, because there’s genius all over America. And the bottom line is this– we live in a nation
that makes sure that, before the age of four,
every boy touches a football. We live in a nation that makes
sure, before the age of four, every boy touches a basketball,
hoping, and dreaming, and believing that 17,
18 years later, they’ll be one of 250 that get drafted
and become millionaires, or they’ll be one of
60 that get drafted and become millionaires. My goal, my vision,
my life’s work is to bring STEM to every
community, such that every boy and girl touch STEM before
the age of four, such that they’ll be
dreaming at 17, 18, 19 years later, they may be one
of the 14 million millionaires in the world or one and a
2,750 billionaires in a world, such that then they can go
back to their communities and create jobs and economies
for people and communities from which they come from. So that’s what this collective– I got to this inclusive
intelligence paradigm. Three years ago, the National
Nuclear Security Agency called me, and I’m like,
hey, anytime a security agency calling me,
that’s a problem. But they said, Mackie
working on this thing called inclusive intelligence. And what they believed
in that is to say, hey, there’s
something called IQ, where there’s a test
where we can measure individual intelligence. There’s something called
EQ, where you can measure people emotional intelligence. And there’s work
right here at MIT, time alone, whole
group used to talk about collective
intelligence of group. And now, they talking about
the collective intelligence of groups merged
with technology, and when you look at
it, it’s like Google. So Google would take all these
different websites, a million websites, and there’s
information and knowledge on all these websites. Then you create
an algorithm such that now you get this
amazing intelligent answer, because they’re able
to get the intelligence of a million different points. So what the research says
is that a group has dynamics and a group has a
behavior, and it has dynamics, and
behaviors, and traits that, otherwise, could be measured. We should be able
to not only measure the intelligence of a group. We should be able to alter
the intelligence of a group, and that’s what
this work is about. How do we leverage personal,
campus, and inclusion for proper engagement? How do we take
this to classrooms, where we have teachers who
don’t look like the kids or from a different culture,
and create an environment, where in a building, we know
exactly what the groups should be doing, such that everybody
feel like they belong? Because at the end of the
day, if you don’t respect my [INAUDIBLE] or my uniqueness,
I don’t feel like I belong, all bets are off the table. And I brought up
my personal history because that is my
personal history. And the pain that I
felt going through I’ve committed to my life
to try to make sure that, when my eyes
close, other people don’t have to follow me and go
through such an experience. [INAUDIBLE] So again,
as we said before, if we do not intentionally,
deliberately, and proactively include,
we unintentionally exclude. And that’s my challenge
to a lot of institutions. They say they want diversity. They say they want inclusion. And I say, what are you
intentionally doing? Because I know MIT just
raised a billion dollars– say they going to
create a whole school of artificial intelligence. So they intentional
about this thing called artificial intelligence. When we want to
solve a problem, we have to be not only
intentional about it. We got to be deliberate
and proactive, or we intentionally exclude that
which we see say that we want. We cannot solve the same problem
with the thinking that got us into it. And for 25 years, I’ve been
in this whole STEM apparatus– we’ve been using
the same thinking. For 25 years, I’ve been
going to the same meetings, hearing the same things,
people doing the same things, having the same committees,
and the same subcommittees, and the [INAUDIBLE]. The NSF had Workforce 2000. Then they had Workforce 2010. They had Workforce 2040. Now, they’re working
on Workforce 2050. And it’s the same thing
with different statistics. Until we change what we do,
as scientists and engineers, we know we’re not going
to get a different result. You could change the
narrative all you want. So just talking
about diversity, we have to have a
working definition. This may not be your
definition, but in essence, what I’m talking
about is the state of fact in the instance
of being different, unencumbered by labels,
like good or bad. It is neither. It’s just different. Some of us are just
differently abled. My background from
whence I come when I stepped on Morehouse
College campus, I was different than a whole
lot of African-American males there. And when I walked that
Georgia Tech campus, they were like, whoa, you–
something wrong with you. Nothing was wrong with me. I was just different. I’d had different
life experiences. And the funny part about
it– my life experiences allowed me to bring
perspectives to complex problems in groups that, otherwise,
wouldn’t have been there. And the question is, how do
we harness that in classrooms? How do we harness that in
departments on universities? How do we harness that
in a university overall? And diversity, not
only of thought, but background, disability,
ethnicity, campus affiliation, family structures is all. All of this is based
on stereotypes, and stereotypes are often
an unfair and untrue belief that many people
have about people or things with a
particular characteristics. The problem with stereotypes
is that many of us have been socially conditioned
to believe certain things about certain people
and certain groups that we had no interaction with. So especially now,
with the power of information and
the way information is coming to us, we– in a void, we begin
to make things up. So many of us who haven’t had
these interactive experiences and personal experiences
with people and groups, we begin to think things
that, otherwise, not true. And the sad part about it
is that inform the decision that we make when we do
interact with those groups. And I want to talk about the
neuroscience of the brain. And I had a little short
video that we’re not going to go over, but you know
the brain is a funny place. The brain taking like 11
million bits of information every second, but it only
can process about 40 bits. So the brain has a
very efficient way of putting away information
and the information come in unconsciously. I believe psychologists say
that each and every one of us make 20,000 decisions a
day, but 19,995 of them are unconscious decisions. Only about five
decisions that we make every day is dependent
upon some long, thought out– why should I do this,
and how should I do this and it
impacts our lives. So the brain has to be very
efficient in the way of taking information. So when the brain begin
to take in information, it either sees it as a fear
or it sees it as a reward. And the brain moves away
from fear and towards reward. So if my bias or perception
of you is a threat, then my brain going to
respond a certain way. If my perception
of you is a friend, I’m going to respond to
you in a certain way. Crazy part about it– I’m deadly afraid of snakes. And literally, there are
times when I’m walking down the street, I look
down, I see a stick, and I might jump 3
feet off the ground. Well, that was 30 pounds ago. I might drop 6 inches
off the ground now. Oh, snake. Because in my mind, I’ve
already predisposed myself to responding to
a snake that way. We was at the Alligator
Fest on Saturday. I’m telling the truth. Now, why I was at the Alligator
Fest is a different story. And why this guy had a big
boa constrictor on his neck I really don’t understand. But I turned and really
walked upon that snake, and I just started
knocking people down. Because for me, that’s a fear. When we start
conditioning our brains on what’s good,
what’s bad, then that lends itself to
unconscious behavior. [INAUDIBLE] brain, and
scholars have gone through, and this guy developed
just managing the brain and the mind. And what he said is that this is
the way we take in information. This is the lens in
which information comes into our brain. And there is certain
things that we are concerned about individuals. One thing that we are
concerned about individuals is our status– our status as a human being,
our status as a individual. We’re concerned about certainty. I had to be certain
that was a snake. I didn’t have time
to think about it. I was certain that
that was a snake. Autonomy– how does
this information relate to my autonomy as a–
my uniqueness as a individual? Relatedness and then fairness– so that’s a hierarchy. As information come
in, first thing we ask as a question on status. Is it friend or foe? Does it question my
autonomy– friend or foe? And the information is
put away in our brains, but the sad part about it that’s
the way the information comes out of our brain, because
that’s the way it was put in. And really, that’s the
essence of unconscious bias. The way our brain is
wired lends itself to us being biased
in our nature. So the real question is,
can we, as individuals, reprogram ourself to not
go with our first mind, but think about things in such
a way that it make people– we are more respectful
of people uniqueness, more respectful of
people belongingness? This slide I like because
this is about inner work life systems. And you’ve heard the
saying that perception is greater than reality. You see things and you
have certain perceptions, so you go a different way. But one thing we know is that
perceptions inform emotions, and then emotions
inform motivation. So if my perception of you
is that you’re not bright, then my emotion
becomes that, hey, maybe I don’t want
you in my lab. And then my motivation
is to do things such that you don’t end up in my lab. If my perception is that this
community is not that bright, or this community doesn’t
have genius in it, or that school doesn’t
have genius in it, that informs my emotion
just informs my motivation. Such that, when I was
a professor at Tulane, Tulane wanted to recruit a
diverse group of students, I said, go to the high
school where I attended. And they said, well,
no, Calvin, we’re not going that high school. We’re going to that high school. And I’m like, that high school
got like 10 diverse students. I got a whole school
of diverse students. They said, but those
students are better. I said, but those top
10 kids from that school go to the best universities
in the country, including MIT. But their perception was
greatness wasn’t over there. And sometimes, when
we get the results that we are getting as an
institution, as groups, it is based on our perceptions. It’s not based on facts,
not based on statistics, is not based in truth. As a matter of fact, many
students are here today– you know them– if your perception is that
a professor’ not fair, or your perception’s
that a professor is just unnecessarily difficult, that
gives certain rise to you. And that perception may
come from you, at night, talking to your friends. When you get ready to
register for a class, you go to your little group,
and they say, don’t take him. Whatever you do, don’t take him. Whatever you do, don’t
go to that university. I just had a conversation
with somebody and they say somebody told them. So we allow people to talk
us out of our possibilities because the information
we receive create a perception that give
rise to emotion that, otherwise, change
our motivation. That’s true at the
professional level too. Our brains are wired for
efficiency and speed, as I was telling you. So the basic
running of the brain can work against us in
communicating effectively across differences. And that’s what this
thing is about– how do you respect
people differences? I like telling my story
because I’ve always been the different one. When I go to the society
of black engineers, everybody be like,
who let him in? I’m a PhD doing
this type of work. So when I go to other
places, they like, he shouldn’t be in here. So the question is,
how do you thrive and be different at the
same time, and belong? My whole life, I just
wanted to have my feet in two different worlds– this technical world
and then my community. And hopefully, I can bring
some type of solution, such that my community
and the technical world can see each other
on the same plane, rather than seeing each
other as the them in us. Because we could see each
other on the same plane, now we create a pathway
to go back and forth. More than likely, when we
start talking about biases, there’s about three different
type of biases– social biases that create silos and
limit our potentials. It’s a likely bias,
especially in technical areas. Most professors are trying
to recruit someone that reminds them of
themselves, someone they could mold like them,
and then produce themselves. Even I was a professor, so
that would make this work– me doing this work
different, because I’ve been in there before. And you start talking about
professional lineages. No, that’s her
student, his student, who studied with him, studied
with her, studied with her. So a lot of times, people
are in the business not to be giving you and
helping you achieve your dream. They’re in the business of
fulfilling their own dream. When I was a graduate student,
I was a research engineer, and when I say I
wanted to do this, everybody like, don’t do that. And the funny part about– if I
had done everything people told me not to do, when I lost my
job at Tulane, me and my family would have been
out on the street. Many things may catch your
eyes, but very few things catch your heart. Students pursue those things. That’s what diversity
and inclusion is about. How do we take you
and help you become the best of who
you want to be, not the best of who
we want you to be? I have a lot of friends who are
the best of their profession, and very unhappy in
their somebodiness. Because for 30 years, they
say, if I do this, I do this, I do this, I could become the
president of a university. Then when they’re the
president of a university, they really forgot what it
was they got into this thing to do in the first place. So when I lost my job at
Tulane, people said, Calvin, how could that be? I said, when I talk to my
pastor, and my pastor said, the only thing
God did for you is that which you didn’t have the
courage to do for yourself. And I hung up on him– bam. I got eight people
living in my house, man. I done lost my job. That’s a true story. But I’ve never been
more fulfilled. And I wonder, if I
had not lost a job, would I still be
in spaces trying to put square pegs in a
circle, begging people for acceptance, when a system
is not even set up to accept me? I’m sorry. So with these biases– you got to like me bias. That’s what I was talking about. We get caught up
in this like me. A lot of times, when we
we’re doing in missions a lot of times, we wonder,
is she MIT standards? Could they make it here? But what lenses are
we looking through? Confirmation bias. Now, we live in a society where
you can get up in the morning and listen to a radio
station that make you think what you believe is true. You can go to work and
turn on your little podcast and listen to people telling
you what you believe is true. You can drive home,
listen to the radio– you can actually live a
whole day, year in America and only get
confirmation information, regardless of how wrong it is. And then as soon as
somebody challenge what you think you know with
a fact, you lose your mind. I believe, when the
internet first came about, they wrote a book, and
it was called Cocooning. Our people was going to be
able to cocoon, really separate themselves from reality and
create their own alter reality, and didn’t really believe
it, and get mad when other people don’t believe it. Welcome to America–
confirmation bias and then broken window bias. And there’s confirmation
bias– a lot of times, when diverse people
come into groups and groups get very diverse,
these are two things that’s really a challenge. Because you’re not like
the people in the group, and then, due to your diversity
or your diverse background and experiences, you’re not
confirming what they’re saying. Because I’m not going
to agree with that. That’s against me. That was issue I had at Tulane. You telling me genius
is not where I’m from. Oh, so maybe I
don’t belong then. And then broken
window bias, where we believe that, when we
look at the environment– environmental bias, we
just look and we drive through a neighborhood and we
see something a certain way, that informs us that
the people– that’s the core essence of the people,
because the physical condition of that environment
is a certain way. Inclusion– we define
inclusion as a culture that connects students, parents,
and the faculty to the school, and encourage collaboration,
and flexibility, and fairness, and leverages diversity
throughout the organization so that all individuals able
to participate in the education experience and reach
their full potential. What I should have put in
is, and also to be heard. The two important
aspects of inclusion is uniqueness and belongingness,
uniqueness and belong. The example I use, and
always use, is like the hand. Booker T Washington said,
we’re separate as the finger, but we as hold as the hand. But this thumb is– it’s a different little
thing right here. It’s a different little digit. And I’m a Saints fan, and
Drew Brees hurt his thumb. Now, we realize how important
the thumb is to football. But the bottom line is
that we have to be– we have to understand
that, in a group, we are as different as the
fingers, but we as hold is the hand. And we accept
everybody as they are. Accept their
uniqueness, and bring in who they are and
their belongingness, that is the hand, and that
is very powerful. But if you’ve got a group and
we don’t respect the uniqueness of one of these digits, then
there’s going to be things that we cannot accomplish. That’s been proven over
and over and over again. Drew Brees can’t
throw that football. We still going to
the Super Bowl. Black and gold, “who dat.” I’m sorry, DiOnetta. I’m so sorry. Two important aspects
of inclusion– so you can have high value
and uniqueness, low value and uniqueness,
low belongingness, and high belongingness. So we look at high
value and uniqueness and high belongingness, that’s
inclusion, where individuals are treated as an insider
and allowed and encouraged to retain uniqueness
within the group. Can we help or
operate as a group without me becoming
something else? Can we operate and do
things and accomplish things without me giving up part
of who I am to fit in? Because see, that’s
assimilation. Assimilation is
that you accept me, but you don’t accept
my uniqueness. So that’s individual. Individuals are treated as an
insider in a work group, when they conform to organization
and dominant cultural norms, and downplay their uniqueness. So now, I got to give up who I
am just so everybody else can feel comfortable. And I tried that, as a
professor, my first two years. And really, my second
year as a professor, I think I was clinically
depressed, because I don’t even remember it. But my third year I said,
to hell with everybody, and I’m going to be me. And when I decided to
be me, my productivity took off, because
I really thought– I had been trained that
I needed to assimilate. Now, I want to go to this
thing called exclusion, because exclusion is
low value uniqueness and low belongingness. Exclusion is individuals are
not treated as an organization inside or a unique
value in a work group, but there are other employees
and groups that are insiders. You just there. I never forget,
after I got tenure, I stopped going to
faculty meetings. And [INAUDIBLE] said,
Calvin, we missed you on the faculty meeting. I said, really? He said, yeah. I said, y’all been running
this department great for seven years without me. I think you can
continue that job. I feel totally excluded. And there are people that
exist like that right now on his campus,
not only as students, but as staff members,
faculty, and probably even as administrators. And why I talk about exclusion? Because exclusion is real. This is a chart that shows
the social and physical pain produced by similar
brain responses. If somebody hit
you on the knee– bam– that hurts. And they did a study, and
they showed how the brain– what part of the brain was
activated with that pain. They did the same
study to showed that, when people are in
environments where they are excluded, the pain
that they feel is reminiscent to
even being hit. So some people just think
that, when you excluded, you’re just over in a corner. No, you over in
a corner in pain. And the pain is real. And we live in a society that
doesn’t respect pain that, otherwise, cannot be seen. And we wonder why
people just walk away in the middle of the night,
why students don’t decide to come back, why
graduate students say, you know what,
that’s enough for me. Because the pain is real. And for 12 years as
a faculty member– at Georgia Tech,
it was pretty much mitigated, because we had
created a tribe that we can plug into that
helped us deal with it, helped me deal with it. But even as a
professor at Tulane– and I saw this as a
professor at Tulane– in 12 years at Tulane,
I taught 14 black kids. So I’m talking about kids who
otherwise didn’t feel included in this institution,
where 50% of the kids came from households
of $50,000 or more, where kids was
going on vacations, and after Spring Break,
they had to come back and they had to go work. And they had to sit
there and listen to other people’s stories. And the professors would
make a big thing out of where people went on trips. And you’re sitting
there going, I was at McDonald’s, hoping
nobody asked me where I did over the Spring Break. And then when the
professors or a staff is not properly trained to
include people and bring people in, that pain becomes
real, over time. Inclusive intelligence is
the intentional, deliberate, and proactive acts that increase
work groups intelligence by making people
feel that they belong and they are uniquely valued. And it’s not play, play,
touchy touchy, feely feely. So when I start talking,
when I did this, this work came out of work I
did with the National Nuclear Security Agency, we
developed this mountain and then went out and trained
1,800 employees of the National Nuclear Security Agency. Because many of the workers in
this field were highly trained, or they were people
from the urban areas. There was people
from rural areas. There was people
that’s well-educated. There was technicians. And what we had to do is
try to reduce conflict and get these people
to work together and live together– produce
a better outcome, i.e., a nuclear weapon. Making sure people are
valued is the thing. What we want? We want change. We want achievement. Everything we want is about
change and achievement. My theory is that,
to get to something called change, we’ve got to go
down the street called hope, because most people
are in despair. Achievement is a head thing. Hope is a heart thing. So when you look at environments
that– where people belong and where people
are uniquely valued, it deal with the
head and the heart. We understand that there’s
an issue with the heart, so we have to make sure
that you’re hopeful so that you can achieve. If you come to MIT
and you lose hope, I don’t care how smart you are,
you’re not going to achieve. I’ll never forget– a young lady
came into my office at Tulane, and she said, Dr. Mackie,
I used to be smart. But now, I’ve got a
2.1 GPA I said, well, you need to go back
to that day when you got dumb, because
that was a very important day in your life. My point to her was, if
you were smart last year, you are smart now with that 2.1. We need to understand what’s
going on with you from a heart perspective or
environmental perspective, such that you can feel a certain
way about yourself that we can get you back to
where you need to be. So we have to understand
that everybody is not in this hopeful stage, even
though they come from the best institution, they got the
grades, got the SAT scores, they did great
undergraduate research. They may come here and
still be in despair. Now, this is where universities,
and especially education as a whole, is losing it. We’re talking about
learning and performance. We believe that, if
you not performing, then you’re not learning. We believe that, if you
learn, then you really perform, without realizing
that this thing is really based on this thing
called relationships. It’s based on relationships. And football coaches
understanding. That’s why the NCAA allows
football coaches now to take the scholarship
from a player. It could be a blue
chips player, and they come play for the coach,
and if the coach doesn’t have a great relationship
with that player, that coach knows
that player is not going to perform at
the optimum level, so they allow him to
take the scholarship. But we bring students
into environments and we know– if you look at
their research background, or you look at their SAT scores,
look at their achievements, they come into this environment
and they not performing, then you start wondering about,
were they really qualified, without ever asking
the question, could it be their environment? Could it just be
their environment? Could we be doing a better
job to make people feel valued and belong, such
that now they believe they are part of
something, such that they worked their butts off to get
to produce their optimum result? Now, in real estate,
the answer is, if you want to be
successful in real estate, it’s location,
location, location. If you want to be successful
in a relationship, it’s communication,
communication, communication. I hate for you to go
to Facebook and look at your boyfriend’s
little relationship tag and it say complicated. Like, what? You know, when you haven’t
heard somebody in two weeks, y’all got problems. I wonder why hey
ain’t call calling me. I know why he ain’t calling you. But communication, right? And this is where it break down. This where it break down, right? Everyone doesn’t
communicate the same way. And for my electric
engineering people in the room, you know there’s a loop– communication loop. And in the communication
loop, there’s a sender, a message, a
channel, and a receiver. When we start talking
about diversity and we start talking
about belongingness, we start talking
about inclusioness, we don’t bring all
that into play. If our communication
would be optimal, the center has to be
authentic and credible. I ain’t saying you
got to be like me. I ain’t saying you got
to be the same gender me. I ain’t saying you had to
come up in the hood like me. I am saying you have to be
authentic about whether or not you care about me and whether
you want to see me achieve. And you’ve got to be
credible about that. You can be hard and
difficult, but if you’re authentic and credible– my PhD
advisor was Dr. Carolyn Meyers, and she talked to me
one day in a way I still can’t get over 30 years later. But I knew it was coming
from a place of caring, and I knew what she was telling
me, in my heart, was the truth. And if I didn’t do
what I was suppose to, I was just going to be
a bum on the street. And I went in that
lab, and I worked like I’d never worked before. She never questioned whether
or not I could do the work. She challenged me
to be better, and I responded, because I knew she
was authentic and credible. The message has to be concise,
relevant, and specific. So when you have
these people coming from different backgrounds, we
got to work on the messaging. You have to work on the message. I never forget a
system dynamics class– professor said I’d
done something wrong. I knew I had done it right. He said it in a certain way. I got up like, so we going to
handle this like gentlemen, or we going to handle
this like some gangsters? Because the way
you talking to me– sometimes you just don’t–
the message is not right. The message has to be concise,
relevant, and specific. So I’m saying, on
the sender’s, behalf there’s some work to be done. It’s not only
about the students. The channel got to
be varied and clear. I had a professor say, I’d never
be on social media, and I said, that’s why you’re a
dinosaur, and you’re going to die with the television. I said it, I’m in it, and
I’m here to represent it. We’ve got to bring people into
the 21st century dragging– crying and dragging. Now, the most important
of this before I move on, is that the receiver has
to be accessible, targeted, and more importantly,
mission directed understood. The receiver has
to be understood. How we going to create an
inclusive environment where everyone is valued,
when we don’t even understand the receiver who we
say we sending a message to? In our hierarchy
and our arrogance, it’s all about the sender
and what he or she want or what he or she believe. And either you going to
conform to it, or maybe this ain’t the place for you. And places that still
have that mentality, they going to get their lunch
eaten in a 21st century, because students are going to
begin to mark with their feet. Professors are going to begin
to walk with their feet. They’re going to say, look,
you may be number one, but this ain’t the place for me. Cross-cultural
communications– often because of our diverse
backgrounds, we miscommunicate or misinterpret the
message or action simply because we communicate
differently. How do we communicate
differently? There are things called
high context communities and low contexts communities,
and most cultures fall within one of
these two categories, as it relates to communication
and interactions. High context communities deal
with more relationships, trust, interpersonal interactions,
where low text communities are very explicit, very verbal,
and very to the point. Where we start talking
about diverse communities, and interactions, and
accepting people as they are, this is usually where
we fail, because we feel on these verbal cues. Many of my interactions
with my colleagues is that they’re from a
low context communities or cultures, and I was
from a high context community or culture. High text communities,
their cultural relationship is very important. What I just told you
about Dr. Meyers, she was from a high
context community, so therefore, we had
a relationship, such that she can talk
to me like that. [INAUDIBLE] interaction
between young men and police on the street is that many of
the police are low context. The young men are high context. So for the police to say
stop and for me to say stop does two different things. That’s why, even
in urban schools– you go to many urban schools,
they may have a leader of one ethnicity, but they usually
have the same ethnicity as the disciplinarian
of the student, because they’re disciplinarian
had the same communication context. But I’m saying we
can’t depend on it. We have to be aware enough. And EQ is huge now
in self-awareness that we are aware
of other people, such that we have to code shift
to be able to relate to them where they are, if we
want this thing to change. And that’s the
assumption I’m making. Now, getting to the conclusion
in the work that we did was that we came up– the National Nuclear
Security Agency came up with this whole thing
of the new IQ, inclusive intelligence. And they talked
about group smarts are more important
than individual smarts. All of us are in STEM,
so everybody look at our individual intelligence. But the simple
problems are solved. In the 21st century, the only
problems you going to work on are very complex problems. And very complex
problems can only be solved by a group of
people, not an individual. And I give you an
example about how group intelligence is trumps
homogeneous intelligence. We was in the
aftermath of Katrina, and my family lost 29 houses
in the aftermath of Katrina. I had eight people
living in my house. My dad was diagnosed
with lung cancer the week before
Hurricane Katrina. He was supposed to start his
training the day of Hurricane Katrina– his cancer treatment
[INAUDIBLE] Hurricane Katrina. Took us six weeks to get
him back in the system. After six weeks, they
couldn’t re-diagnose him, because all the
records had been lost. Took us two more weeks
to get him re-diagnosed, when we finally found a
hospital that could take him in. By the time we re-diagnosed
him, the cancer had spread to all over his body. There’s this big beautiful
man who dropped out of school in eighth
grade to pick cotton, who started a company
with a ladder on his car in the aftermath of
Hurricane Betsy in 1965, started his own business. In the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina, he lost his business, he lost his dream house, and
eventually, he lost his life. And I understand the
transformative power of a STEM education, because
he was living in my house with my other
brothers and sisters. And since I had
a STEM education, I was able to go out
and create businesses to pay for all of us. But the governor appointed
me to the Louisiana Recovery Authority. I never forget sitting there. And there were people still
stuck in their houses, and they were like, look, I’m
on [INAUDIBLE] and Tupelo. Come get me. And we had the Coast Guard. We had to hold backing of
the United States government. We had the best boats you have. We had the best
[INAUDIBLE] you could find. We had very intelligent people,
and they would go out and say, we can’t find them. We like, they right
there on the corner of [INAUDIBLE] and Tupelo. They say, we can’t find them. And I’m sitting there laughing
because these people was brilliant. They had all the technology,
they had all the resources, but they had the wrong
people in the boat. They had the wrong
people in the boat. They had nobody in the
boat who understood the topography in
the neighborhoods that they was searching. And do I believe people
died because of that? Yes. And another crazy example– we were sitting around a table. We got 30,000 people
on the streets. We shipped people all around– all across the country. Now, this is America. Y’all might be too
young to remember. We separated mamas and
babies, put people on planes, shipped them all
around the country. We even shipped people to Utah. Y’all don’t get that joke. They was sitting there,
and they were like, we got to get these people money. We have to get them money. And they said, OK, here’s
what we going to do. We going to wire $2,000
to everybody bank account. Then wherever they at,
they can’t get the money. Yes, Mackie, if they
had bank accounts, they wouldn’t have
been on the street. Group intelligence– having
the right people in the room and respecting the intelligence
each one of us has to offer. So at the National Nuclear
Security Agency, what they did was that they had
a perception scan, but he gave these
employees a survey. [INAUDIBLE] survey of
like 100 questions, they may show 20 of the
questions was around behaviors. And out of those
20 behaviors, they can be grouped into what we
call five habits, or really, five behaviors. And you look at
these five behaviors. If you can measure
these five behaviors and then get a score
on these behaviors, that’ll let you
know whether or not your group or your organization
is more inclusive, based on how people respond to their
perception to these behaviors. And these five behaviors
that we can measure is what we calling the new
inclusive intelligence, or inclusive environment. These five habits, or these
five behaviors, at its core, is fairness– I know some people have
an issue with fairness, but I’m going to talk
about that in a minute. When people saying
they are fair, that’s really coming
from their lens. Openness– the ability to
be free of a closed mind. Can you be receptive and
open to a different idea? Because if I’m different
and I’m in that room, that’s why I was afraid
to raise my hand. I was afraid to raise
my hand, because I don’t know if these people
was receptive to somebody saying something different. Cooperativeness– the ability to
work together and acti willing for a common purpose of benefit. Do we make sure that everybody
is pulled into the group? Supportiveness– the ability
to constructively help others. And then, if you’re fair, open,
cooperative, and supportive– an inclusive environment is
an empowering environment. The only thing we want for
every student on every campus is to feel empowered. [INAUDIBLE] be talking
about is self-agency. When you feel
empowered, then you understand, know, and believe
that you can save yourself. That’s what empowerment is. Do everybody feel empowered
in an organization? Does everybody feel
empowered on a campus– like I am part of
something bigger than me, and it believes in me, and
I believe in this mission? This is the perception
scan that we use with educational
institutions now. We’re helping them come up
with their own questions– how they shape their
questions so they can do their own surveys. And at the end of
the day they, they can determine whether or not
the campus is feeling inclusive. What is necessary
to change a person is to change his or her
awareness of him or herself. When I work with
students down there, that’s the only thing I’m
trying to get them to. If I can get them to understand
and become aware of themselves, who they are, where
they are, then we can get them to change to
be who they need to be. People change for
one of three reasons. They change, one, because
they are given enough. Two, they change because
they learn enough. But three, they change
because they heard enough. I don’t want anybody to
have to learn or change again because of the
hurt and the pain. You don’t do what you’re doing,
to come to an institution, to experience pain. That’s where we have to get to. Your small actions, your work,
and your circle of influence can create, over time, a big
impact on your organization. This is like the [INAUDIBLE]
belief that one person can do something very small
that can cause a change– ripple change throughout
an entire organization. I was at Tulane. Something happened. I responded a certain way. My colleagues didn’t
like it, but it changed the dynamics for
students in our department– one little thing. I was talking to
professors last night, and sometimes, as
professors, professors don’t even feel
empowered to challenge the situation of
their environment or the culture out of
fear of retribution such that if they do make
that one little step, it might change the direction
of the whole institution. Motivation get you started. Habit is what get you going. And that’s what we believe. Habit sustained
performance culture. If we can create these– take
these five behaviors and make them habits– inclusive intelligence is about
taking individual behaviors, looking at them
collectively, getting them moving in one
direction, such that the environment becomes
inclusive for everyone. And again, that takes– talking last night–
that takes time. But if you don’t
start, you definitely will never get there. So the new IQ,
inclusive intelligence, is really based on these
five habits or behaviors where we are calling the
new leadership paradigm. The five inclusive habits
are like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If you’re fair–
and fairness is– that’s the beginning. If you’re fair, then we
can go to the next step. You could talk to people right
now– you say, look, we fair. We do the same
thing for everybody. I said, everybody’s
not the same. That’s how I was able to go
through a whole system that said I wasn’t qualified,
and got the highest degree that the system had
to offer because they was measuring me based
on other people, not on what I had to
bring to the table. Openness– is the
system open enough, such that people can be
heard and be themselves? Is the system one, such
that we are cooperative, such that we can work together,
even though we we’re different, such that we can
get a better result? And then, is it supportive? It is supportive of
you being different, regardless of your
differentness? And when all that
happen, that’s when you get an empowering
organization, an empowering group. But more importantly,
you get individuals that feel empowered. In conclusion, the
challenge is that now, we go in our organizations, and
we see certain people that are really empowered. And you sit in there
going, one day, I wish I can behave like that. One day, I wish I can say what
I would like, what I feel. One day, I wish I can raise my
hand and say what I believe. But since I don’t
feel empowered, since it’s not a supportive
environment, since they’re never cooperating with
me, it doesn’t feel open to my opinion, how
can I say it’s fair? And institutions
will tell you, we’ve done everything we
can do to be fair. I say, ask the people. If you asked the sender– I mean ask the receivers–
go to receivers and ask them. If they say it’s not fair,
then you have not done enough. Again, if we do not
intentionally, deliberately, and proactively include MIT,
we unintentionally exclude. In the past, I believe, young
lady, that it was intentional. But now, I believe in
everybody intentions. When I sit down
with administrators, I sit down with CEOs, I
sit down with presidents of universities. I’m on a university board, and
they say, this is what we want, I say, I believe
in your intentions, but now I have to
question your actions. And as engineers, as
scientists, we know, if we want to solve a
problem, it take resources, and resources follow the problem
that the institution value. When I go somewhere and
the institution say, we– this is a problem
we want to solve– show me your budget. That’s all. That’s where we’ve got to
start, because that tells me the value you are
placing on this problem. We are called to be architects
of the future, not its victims. And I wish you all to be
architects of a future that you never
even could imagine, because that’s the
life I’m living. Thank you all for listening. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. We good? So we have some time. Thank you, Dr. Mackie. Can we give him another
round of applause? [APPLAUSE] I’m sure that some of
you have some questions, so I’d love to be able to give
us some time for Q&A. Just raise your hand. I was so sure [INAUDIBLE] Yes, miss? Hi, my name is Nina [INAUDIBLE]. I guess the question is that I
feel like the same people are at the same table all the
time doing the same work, and so it gets exhausting,
when it’s constantly the same group of people
that has to do it. So I’m just curious to see, how
are your thoughts in bringing others to the table so that
they’re also helping us do the work, if that makes sense? Nina? Yes. Where you from, Nina? This area. [INAUDIBLE] born and raised. So I forgot to tell, you my
beautiful wife, Tracy, happens to be a pharmacist, and
she believed that I’m ADD and I’ve never been
treated before. I’ve got to move around. Sometimes my passion
intimidates people. James Bond would say that
passion is unfriendly. It’s contemptuous of
all what is not itself. He said but a passion must– contains a challenge,
and it must contains an unspeakable hope. Higher ed has
become like hospital with doctors that don’t
want sick patients. So they go out and they
recruit what they believe is the most well patient. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. And then they keep their well
patient well for four years, and then let them go, and
then brag about the fact that they will patient
didn’t get sick. And then they call
themselves doctors. And if you look at Latin, I
feel that too– but I believe, if you look in it,
at his base, it says, education is about bringing out
of darkness and into the light. And higher ed has broken
its social compact with the community
of taking those that, otherwise, may
not be the most well, but just need a little– you’ve got a little
cold, so I’m going to give you a little Zyrtec,
and then you can compete. You keep doing the
work you’re doing. It’s not you that’s the issue. The issue is the protected
class, meaning people like me or
professors, who people fought for to get
in these positions in these institutions, such
that we can be protected with tenure, so that we
can fight the system, so that the system
could be better for everybody that’s not holding
up their end of the bargain. That’s why I don’t get invited
to the faculty parties. If we don’t talk about
collective impact– everybody got to be at the table
fighting for the same things. And my heart goes out
to people like you because you’re doing the work. DiOnetta doing the work. You’re doing the work. Now, we need people on
the other side, who’s not afraid to raise their hand. Hope you caught that analogy. I never raised my
hand at Tulane. I sat there for seven years,
and I took the beat down. Once I got tenure, I raised my
hand and my middle finger too. I’m sorry. But look, I’m trying
to solve a problem. And I got a call what is is. So the bottom line is that
those you on the front line, keep doing what you’re doing. It’s incumbent upon people like
me to speak to the president, to speak to corporate
CEOs, and challenged him to do more so that you
have the resources, and kids– and the university
has the resources that you can attack
those problems. We always put the
onus on the people. We don’t go to war and put
the onus on the soldiers. Now, we’ve got to
start challenging the generals, the people making
the policies, the people making the calls. But the soldiers will never do
that, because they can’t do it. And that’s why I didn’t
go back into the academy. Sometimes, when I’m
speaking to the president of a university, people be
like, we need you on our campus. And I say, look at
your president face. He’s like, I need
him on my campus like I need a hole in my head. I’m trying to solve the
problem, not a problem. A lot of people
trying to give you resources to solve
a problem that doesn’t address the problem. So what we’ve done
at STEM NOLA is that people have talked about
creating career forever. We are now engaged in upward of
200 to 300 kids every Saturday. We’ve created a pipeline– K12 pipeline where we
have kids showing up doing STEM on Saturdays. Because it’s a shame if
a kid gets to ninth grade and you trying to
introduce them to STEM, but they knew basketball ever
since they was in kindergarten. I was telling them
last night, we have a young lady at four
years old in New Orleans. She was admitted into Mensa. Now, she’s 10 years old. I went to her
parents and I said, I don’t care what she want. I don’t care what she want. And it’s not about
y’all resources. I’m telling you I don’t
care if she want a computer. I don’t care if
she want a llama. I don’t care what she want. You let me know, and
she going to get it. Because if she was a boy and ran
a 0.45 40 in the first grade, that’s what LSU would be doing. But since they don’t
value her mind– I better go to
the next question. So look, I carry that burden. It’s people like me,
my ilk, my colleagues, that need to do
what we need to do, because there were
people before us that fought for people like us
to be in these positions so we could create– things supposed
to be much better than they are now, but too
many people comfortable. I’m tired of people
on the other side. I don’t even get Christmas
gifts from my colleague. And they used to send me
Christmas cards, my buddies. Yes? Amanda. [INAUDIBLE] microphone. We want you to be heard. Thank you. I love Nina’s question. My name’s Amanda. Hi, Amanda. And I use she/her pronouns. And I’m wondering about
equitable distribution of labor. Kind of exactly what you were
just saying, do you have– I don’t know– examples of
institutions that have maybe institutionalized getting
folks in your type of position, like you’re saying,
to do this work, to challenge the
authority above them? What does that look like,
if you haven’t seen it, or if you have? The answer’s no. I wish I could say– that doesn’t mean
it does not exist, but I’ve definitely been
looking, and I don’t see it. My PhD was in hydrodynamic
stability, and we looked– I looked at how things
become unstable, and we just use
perturbation theory. And sometimes you got
to shock the system, you got to perturb the system
to get the system to change. It’s like [INAUDIBLE] water,
and it go to turbulent. You could trip that turbulence
and make the system become something else. And I’m trying to do
that from the outside. And I’m saying I
don’t see it anywhere. You would think people
would be knocking down my door to come work
at the institution. We could create a whole
center on this effort, and that’s what I’m trying
to do, as an individual. I’m trying to create the Ernst
& Young of STEM outreach, because I don’t believe it’s
in the institution’s DNA to deal with these
problems at the level that it need to be dealt with. So why can’t we charge
these universities to solve the problems that
they, otherwise, been wrestling with for 50 years, and seem like
they don’t have a clue about? Because I’m an engineer, so
I got to make assumptions. And my assumption is, if you
haven’t gotten it right in 50, you know what, maybe– systems produce the
outcomes that it was designed to produce, or
we will change those systems. So I’m trying to
change the system. I understand that
the perturbation called Calvin Mackie
on your problem may cause more turbulence
than you would like. I accept that. But I refuse to accept that
this perturbation is not needed, because at its end are
the lives of our young men, and women, and people
that are different. And that’s a solution
we have to come up with. I just don’t believe it’s going
to come from college campuses. And I don’t believe it’s going
to come from college campuses because everything
is short-term. They’ve got students that are
here that’s four or five years. You’ve got faculty that
are here, tenure protected, so they won’t change. They’re produce and all
the research and the money, they decide through a Senate
vote who may the president be. So it’s really a
conflicted system. But that doesn’t mean that we
cannot create a solution that will work within this system. I just don’t believe the
ultimate solution will come out of the system. That’s speaking from being
in this for 25 years. Now, if there is one example,
from a corporate standpoint, I’ve done a lot
with Ernst & Young. The things that
Ernst & Young are doing around modified
partnerships, how they are more looking at the needs of
women and work/life balance– how women used to have to
sacrifice family or marriage just to become a partner– and the things that they
are putting together, they’re really struggling with– how do we keep our best talent,
and meet them where they are, and create an environment where
he still can be productive? But a lot of
people, that’s not– it’s stock prices and how
can we get this best return in these four years? Question? [INAUDIBLE] Question? Yes, miss? My name is Denise Fellows. I’m the diversity
officer in AeroAstro, and I’m curious to hear
about the perception scan or perceptive scan
that you spoke about, and how well does that go over? What kind of pushback– and
in terms of the data that you receive from that, that whole
implementation process– and so what are some of the
key pieces of that scan? Well, that scan is the Federal
Employee Viewpoint Survey with the Office of Personnel
Management give all of the employees every year. So it’s institutionalized. So if we institutionalize it
and everybody on the campus have to take the survey– it’s truly a reactionary
thing, right? You have some type
of diversity issue, and then the president going
to hire some diversity company to come in and take some type
of audit across the campus. And I’m saying you wouldn’t
need that audit, if it was institutionalized, and
at the end of every year, everybody had to
take a survey so you can get to the climate of
the institution every year– such that, out of that
survey, now you’ve embedded these questions around
these five behaviors or habits that will give you a sense of
your inclusive intelligence. And here’s the thing about it– in the federal government now,
they can go to departments. They can go to departments. On a granular level, when they
look at it, they know– boom. One department we were working
with had 12 people in it, and it was hell on earth. But it came out in that scan. That’s what I mean by being
intentional and consistent. It can’t be a one-time thing. It got to come from the top,
it got to be intentional, and it got to be consistent. If you expect it, you
got to inspect it. Come on. MIT, we understand
accountability. Every grant we get in itself
saying, we want accountability. And I’m saying, if
this is important, we got to have accountability
around it, and resources. Yes? So speaking of surveys– [INAUDIBLE] Sorry? [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] I thought you was a pr-freshman. It’s OK. [INAUDIBLE] A lot of people do. But speaking of surveys,
my question is– so obviously, the survey
is [INAUDIBLE] issue, or perceived issue. So when surveys go out
and those issues are not apparent on the surveys
because the way people answer questions, would you
attribute that to resignation, fear, or just– people just accepting things
to be the way they are? So your premise was
the surveys go out because it’s in
reaction to something. That’s why we can’t have it
in reaction to something. We’ve got to make
it part and parcel of the standard operation
procedure of the university. And you sell it under,
this is how we get better. So I made a comment last
night at the student center. I just get in
trouble [INAUDIBLE].. But my point is I go to
engineering schools– so I was a professor
at Tulane, and I used to go over to
the Business School because the Business School
had pictures on the walls, they had a carpet on the
floor, and on Fridays, they have receptions. And they would have chefs. And the chef would be
there carving the turkey. And they had wine. And I’m a professor, a
grown man with a job, and I got to sneak
over there just to get me some wine and cheese. You understand what I’m saying? But you go to
engineering school, and it look like a jail. The walls gray. They got pastel
colors– look like you being locked up for 25 to life. The professor driving raggedy
cars even though they rich. So engineering
across the country is wondering why more kids
not coming in engineering. If I walk into the
School of Business, and I walk into the Law School,
and I come over here, I’m like, I want to live like this. I want to live like this. So there’s some
buildings around here– I go on a college
campus, I’m like, hey, this building got to go. I’m been coming to this
building for like 20 years. They still got gray
doors on this building. I’m talking about this building. So my bottom line is that
it can’t be reaction. If they would have
been taking seriously, the kids would have
said 10 years ago, we need a new Student Center,
because the kids are changing. You got it? So again, when I brought up
her comment about the audit– if something happen,
they do an audit– then you’re going to get
all of these crazy answers, because now that people
are fighting against it, [INAUDIBLE] answer some crazy
to try to mess up the results. I don’t get invited to
too many places twice. They’re like, I got to
get it out while I’m here. They’re like, don’t
bring him back next year. I just be visiting MIT, just
riding through in my Uber. Hi. Yes, miss? My name is [INAUDIBLE],,
and on that, with the preemptive inclusion,
what is the beginnings of bias, and how do we counteract that? What’s the beginning? That’s what I’ve talked about
the social conditioning– the way the brain
is wired, and then the social conditioning
of the information that people are taking in. Coming up where I came up,
I had a perception of people on the other side of town. It’s just the way it was. I didn’t know any. I wasn’t allowed
to go over there. They responded to me in a
certain way out in public. So I built up a conditioning– a self-defense conditioning that
said everybody in that group was like that. And it starts there. I don’t believe it’s taught,
but people have parents. Parents have been in
certain situations, and parents begin to
tell they kid things, and then all of a
sudden, this little boy believe that girls are
not supposed be engineers. You know how many
parents I talked to, and they say, well, I
wasn’t good at math, so it’s all right my
daughter’s not good at math? They put that seed
in the daughter head. And we tell the mother,
you wasn’t good at math because you didn’t get
the help that you deserve. We’re going to make sure that
your daughter get everything that she deserves
so that she can do what it is that she want to do. So when adults begin to believe
that [INAUDIBLE] so why is it, when one professor has a
bad experience with a woman, then that becomes the bad– that becomes the
perception of all women? When a woman has a bad
perception with a male, that doesn’t become the
perception of all males. We live in a country
where the minority is supposed to be protected,
because if we allow the majority to run wild,
then their perception and their biases would
dominate everybody else. And that’s what we’re fighting. How do we be more inclusive? Not how do I be more like
the dominant culture, or the dominant
white male culture– the question is, how do
we create an environment where a white male can
be whole as a white male, and I can be who
as a black male, and you can be always a woman? But it starts with birth
and our experiences, and that’s why I talked
about environments and we start talking
about relationships. What I’ve tried to do
with my own two kids is give them the most
broadest experiences that I can give them, including
giving them Arab names– Myles Ahmad and
Mason Amir Mackie because I say I want you to
be citizens of the world. Still, when we go to the
airport now, and we go on trips, somehow, when they’re traveling
with me, we get pulled over. And even my son, in the
10th grade, he said, dad, I think it’s
because of our names. I said, son, you’ve
been intelligent. Oh, you got a question? Are you a student? Yeah. I’m not going to assume anymore. Are you a student at MIT? Yes, sir. All right. I only have a question because
I’m pretty sure you’ve done, in your career,
what I want to do. So I just had the
question, how did you transition from your engineering
PhD into community-based work? And if at anytime your
career, how did you battle feelings of
being assured that you were making the right choice? What’s your name? Brian. Where are you from, Brian? Miami. Oh, lord. What’s up? Trick daddy. I’m sorry. For one, I’m going to give
you my number, so you can [INAUDIBLE]. It hasn’t been easy. I wrote an article like 1992
for Black Legion Magazine about how I wanted to develop
the human capital, instead of the– I want to develop
the human capital for the technological
apparatus or whatever. I always had a human-centered
base foundation of what I wanted to do. But since I was
good in mathematics. I had a degree mathematics. I never want to do
theoretical stuff, so [INAUDIBLE] I was
taking this class, and I solved this problem,
and a professor lost his mind. He was like, you solved it. Why didn’t you use
integral tables? I said, I didn’t even know
there was a thing called the integral table. I solved the problem
like six pages long. So he’s like, you going
to work in my lab. So it’s like the kid who threw a
rock and through the rock well, and somebody saw him
throwing the rock, so he said, try this baseball. Then he threw the baseball,
and he threw it well. Then he said, we’ll
give you some money to come down to school
to throw that baseball. So he said, OK, I go to school. And he throw the baseball. Then he end up in the pros
and he throwing baseball, but nobody ever asked him, did
he want to throw a baseball? Or why he was throwing the rock. Or why he was throwing the rock. You got it. So I just got caught up. They said, you stay in school,
we give you some more money. You what? And the girls come
in every year, and I can play ball at
2 o’clock every day? So the bottom line is that,
even when I was in grade school, I used to go out just once a
week and do community work, because I didn’t want to lose
touch with the community. And really, going to the
community once a week, that was my savior. That was where I felt
whole, I felt valued, and I felt complete. So I don’t even care if
it was the barbershop. I’ll go hang out in a
barber shop for three hours to let me know, you know
what, I’m all right, because I got to
go back over here. And in my professional life,
I didn’t want to lose that. So the whole time I was
doing this PhD thing and doing research, I had this
whole parallel work going on to solve these type of problems. And I think about
it– the more and more I did this, the more and
more the people over here told me I didn’t need
to be doing this. And it’s the stuff
over here that made me whole, that give me my
joy, that keep me up all night, that if I can die and
come back, I want to do. And that’s why I said it
would [INAUDIBLE] focus on the things that get your
heart, and not your eyes. Now, there’s some
things you’ve got to do. My two sons, I train
them every day. I say, boys, we have to do
this, and we have to do– we got to do what we have to
do to do what we want to do. So they know you want
to do that, that’s fine, but we got to do we
got to do to get there. And my life is prime
example, because if I hadn’t done that work, that hard work,
and that PhD, and the tenure, I don’t know if I’d be standing
here meeting you today. Maybe that was necessary
to get here to help you. So don’t give up on it. The bottom line is that
you got to determine what it is you want to do, and
then we get some strategies, such that your experiences here
will help you do that work. And there’ll be a lot of
people that say, don’t do that. And I’m saying, young man, do
the things that bring you joy. Life is too short. And I’m here to help you, but
I’m putting my foot on you. Because we don’t
accept mediocrity. Whatever we do, we going to
do it at the highest level, and whatever we do, we
going to do it at a level, such that, hopefully,
we can change the world. Let me end with this– how many y’all saw
the movie Endgame? Y’all don’t see Endgame,
Captain Marvel– whatever it is– Captain Marvel? Anthony Mackie is
my younger brother. The new Captain America. That’s my baby brother– same
mama, same daddy, same DNA. That’s my younger brother. And young man, I
say that to let you know that’s what
I told him, when I wanted him to be an engineer. Because I’m the
motivational speaker. I told him. I said, if you don’t get
into Juilliard or Yale, you go into Morehouse, because
that’s where my money going. Live and death
lives in a tunnel, and my brothers said, man,
I might want to be an actor. I said, man, you crazy. The future is just science
and technology stuff. You better get you a computer
science degree or something so you could take
care of yourself. This is the truth. And this is the truth. And it came to me
one day in tears. And I said, look,
OK, here’s the deal. My mother had passed away. I said, tell you what– you’re going to go
to acting school, go. But you ain’t going
to stand on a corner and be discovered
as no next actor. You got to master your craft. Get a copy of my book. In chapter one, I’m talking
about mastering your craft. I said, if you going
to be an actor, you going to be the best at it. If I’m working the community,
I’m going to be the best at it. And I’m going to work at it
and work at it night and day. And nobody going to
be better than you. Now, if you’re going to
do that, I’ll support it, because I told my mom on her
dying bed that her last baby, the streets would not have him. And he went to acting school. And now, he’s Captain America. And I feel stupid. But my point is he followed his
heart, he followed his gifts, and he worked at it like a dog. Every school he went to,
they tried to kick him out. When he went to Julliard, they
said with his speech pattern– we don’t know. He need to have like a
Midwestern speech pattern. I said, well, yeah,
he’s from the South, and he talked like that. So what do we need to do? You’re not going
to kick him out. They said, well,
you can send him up to some camp in upstate
New York for the summer. That’s where they sent
this one and that one, and they come back
talking like [INAUDIBLE].. You know how much that cost? I didn’t ask you that, lady. So follow your dreams, homes. I don’t know if I can say homes. I mean, follow your
dreams, young man. Any other questions
before we get out of here? Yes? One more question. Have y’all enjoyed this? Yes. I have. I needed this. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I needed this. No really, I say when I
need this– and thank you, DiOnetta– I missed this. And I know I walked away
from it, but in my core, I missed this. I missed interacting with you. That’s why I’ve
created Stem Nola. Let me just tell you about
STEM NOLA for one minute. So we created Stem Nola. We believe a high functioning
community is child-centered, adult-governed, [INAUDIBLE] I don’t care what
culture you go into. If the community is
high functioning– if you go to do the [INAUDIBLE]
people of South Africa, [INAUDIBLE] there’s
standards, there’s structure, there’s strategy. And a high functioning
community is child-centered. Every decision made is made
through the lens of what’s best for the children. The adults are the people
that carry the most weight, and they got to work 40 to 80
hours to free up the elders, such as the elder would have
time in the spring season to pour the wisdom into the kids
before they leave this earth. So we’ve created what we believe
is a high functioning STEM community. That’s what I call
rethinking STEM outreach. So we focus on K-12 kids. We pay college kids
$10 or $15 an hour, and then we around those college
kids with STEM professionals. So any given event,
we may have 450 people in the gym, 200 K12
kids, like 70 something– 100 college kids, and another
50 STEM professionals. We’ve put over
$700,000 in the hands of college kids in
the last six years just with just one program. We’ve engaged now 40,000 kids. So I’m doing
community work in STEM [INAUDIBLE] that is a problem
that need to be solved. The model is not only scalable,
transferable, and reproducible. It’s now sustainable. We are going to
do over $1 million in revenues this year just
with this one ecosystem. Now, the question becomes,
how do we take this ecosystem, and lay it over different
areas, and replicate it, such that now, we have
a million kids doing STEM on every Saturday? Now, I don’t know
about you, but Snoop would say that is gangster. So the bottom line is that
what MIT is teaching you how to solve problems. And you take that and you look
at the problem in the world that you want to solve. You don’t have to
solve the problem that they want you to solve. But now, with
the– when we start talking about
collective intelligence and collective impact, with the
people that you have access to and the resource you
have access to here, some of these community
problems you could take on. I did a sabbatical at the
University of Michigan for a year, and while I was
there in ’04, ’05, I went and I sat down with the foremost
person and a community organizer, and I sat down
with the foremost person and political organizer. I sat down with
the foremost person in advertising and marketing. That’s the type of
resources you have here. And then you pull that together,
and you could create something that never existed before. And when you do that in America,
you’re supposed to be rewarded. Then you have your
name on a building. Yes, sir? Fantastic, fantastic
stuff, talk. I’m [INAUDIBLE]
from South Africa. I run an IT company
based in [INAUDIBLE].. I really do find
interest in the concepts that you’re talking about. I think, for me, as a
leader of a small company, I’d like to know, how do we
apply some of the principles to improve employee
engagement, especially in the small and medium-sized
business sector that we’re in? Because we find that there’s
high turnover in our business and in the industry
that we’re in. Thanks. Well, this whole model comes
out of employee engagement, and measuring the fact that,
when employees are not engaged, they usually walk. So again, I’ve got
a small company. I got 10 employees. I know what you consider small. But literally, I
just brought in– I fired myself, because
I’m, like I’m not good at hiring people. So I’ve fired myself, because
if these the people I hired, something wrong with me. It can’t be them. And I was feeling that
that’s self-awareness. That’s self-awareness–
something wrong with me. So I do mission work,
and I have to make sure that the people that I hire
are aligned with the mission– not these dollars,
but this mission. And the people I
was hiring people who were mostly interested in
dollars, rather than mission. So something in me–
when the young man said, how did I
make the transition, I didn’t get to that. That’s one thing I
haven’t gotten to yet. So I had to bring in a third
party to say, help me vet and bring in people
that are otherwise in line to this mission. Now, in my company, somebody–
another one of my employees who’ve been with me
said, one problem is that these people
don’t know who you are. You go out, you do these talks,
and you talk about all that, but you don’t even do it
with your own employees. Maybe if they knew
who you are, them maybe they’ll
respond differently than it’s just a job. So again, I’m trying to create
an environment of openness, where they could come
tell me whatever. And I take it, and
we keep it moving. But this here is about employee
engagement at its core, and then giving people– in IT, they jumping around
because they jump for dollars– I’m just tired. But I don’t know. That’s a whole other
conversation we can have. I don’t know if it’s equity or
whatever, some type of thing at the end that
they can bank on. But the bottom line
is that you have to make sure that your
culture is one where they feel that it’s more than just a job. And that’s what I’ve
been trying to do. The people still with me
is because of the culture. And they see this is a
problem, we in this together, and we trying to solve this. When you’re building something
a lot of people understand– I just heard somebody say,
well, you don’t have this, you don’t have this. I said, maybe you
don’t understand. We building something. We got all that. That’s you. I’m the janitor,
you the janitor. If something need to be
done, we going to do this. Some people ain’t
built for that. But the bottom line is that
it goes through your culture and what you’re
trying to get to, but it has to be
intentional and consistent. Has to be intentional,
consistent, has to be practiced, and it got
to be practiced by everybody in that culture, including me. So I want my employees
to own their stuff. So every Monday, when
we have our meetings, we have these big events. So every Monday, we
have these– because we want continual improvement,
so we have a call out. It start with me,
and I own my stuff. And I give everybody
the freedom to own they stuff, and knowing there
won’t be retribution for it, because we just
trying to get better. Now, if you keep
making the same stuff, there going to be some problems. But the bottom line
is that it goes back to those five behaviors. I’ll talk to you. All right? Thank you all. [APPLAUSE]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *