The coalition listens to what the community wants and prioritizes BIPOC voices as agents of change and owners of STEAM. Together with BIPOC community based organizations (CBOs), the NE STEAM Coalition organizes listening sessions for youth and families to discuss challenges, frame needs, and advocate for solutions in bringing STEAM opportunities and education to students of color. The coalition and partner CBOs boost program engagement by sustaining relationships with youth, offering family services and food, and supporting academic identity and achievement through authentic community ties.
The Coalition also works to amplify BIPOC voices and develop equity commitments with the public and private sector. NE STEAM meets monthly with more than two dozen community, government, school, business, and education partners. We maintain and iterate on a dynamic community-wide vision with concrete goals to prioritize BIPOC hiring, change under-representation in STEAM, and create culturally responsive programs.
Examples of our work include:
- Collaborating with partners to host state-of-the-art STEM/STEAM learning facilities in North, Northeast Portland, Gresham, and beyond.
- Strengthening strategic supportive partnerships with public, private and faith-based entities to help plan, develop, and implement culturally relevant STEAM programming for BIPOC students.
- Monitoring and evaluating progress with coalition and partner programs, and advocate for continued improvement in terms of quality, access, and increased participation.
- Assisting Coalition partners to align STEM/STEAM programs and culturally-responsive instructional practices to support all partners.
- Researching, identifying, and piloting STEM/STEAM programs and instructional practices that successfully impact and motivate youth of color.
- Creating and supporting effective programming for students of color of all ages, from Pre-K – 12th graders. Assisting partners to provide no-cost, low cost programming in schools, after school, on weekends and during the summer.
- Advocating for family access to technology in the home.