Part of the progress in bringing minorities into geology comes from outreach, part from what I might call upreach. Outreach takes many forms, from college mentors to scholarships from geological societies large and small. The need is greatest, as it is for all sciences, for outreach to children. Becoming a scientist takes long study and family support. Everything helps. That's why I appreciate upreach minority-based organizations that can be more effective in motivating kids by example. The National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists (NABGG) is one, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is another.
"Fortunately I had role models like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who taught me that I had the right to excel and that I could excel, even if people didnít accept me for who I was. Part of what I had to overcome was the feeling that I needed to blend in and not make waves. If youíve faced a lot of discrimination, what you often learn is that life is easier if you blend in as much as possible. But excelling in school means that you stand out, which can be pretty uncomfortable for people who donít want to draw much attention to themselves. However, when I got to college, I felt like there was much less racism than in high school. Thatís what I love about universities. Theyíre about ideas and about how hard you can work and how clearly you can think."