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Dr. Ebony McGee

Dr. Ebony McGee of Johns Hopkins University is a Professor of Innovation and Inclusion in the STEM Ecosystem in the School of Education and the Department of Mental Health under the School of Public Health. Dr. McGee is an electrical engineer by training and an 11-time NSF investigator awardee. She is the leading expert on race and structural racism in STEM, with all its toxic consequences and the growing resistance to the traditional STEM ecosystem.

Keynote Address: My Story Dying to Succeed: Realizing the Price of Success for Black Scholars in STEM

In the presence of stereotypes and biases, racialized social systems produce chronic adverse outcomes for underrepresented minoritized people. Our structural systems create stressful environments in which academic success becomes more important than one’s well-being – high-achievers are literally dying to succeed. This presentation will explore resilience in the face of structural inequities in higher education. The author, who earned an undergraduate engineering degree at an HBCU and then faced the toxic, racialized and gendered environment in the STEM industry, will explore her positionality as a product of Chicago’s Southside public schools. She found that individualized forms of resilience and grit as constructs that puts the onus of remedying systemic racism on the minoritized rather than on the systems themselves. Black scholars should be educated in ways that affirm rather than stigmatize, marginalize, and kill their identities.

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