The Equity Ethic: Black and Latinx CollegeStudents Reengineering Their STEM Careers toward Justice

Updated: May 3

EBONY MCGEE and LYDIA BENTLEYPeabody College, Vanderbilt University


This article describes the study of career aspirations of high-achieving black andLatinx undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)students and uncovers a concern for helping others—an equity ethic. A lack ofracial and ethnic diversity persists in STEM education and industries; conse-quently, the inspiration of black and Latinx students in STEM warrants explo-ration. Data were collected from 38 black and Latinx STEM students usingsemistructured, life-story interviews. Students’desire to help others indicates aneed to revisit the emphasis onfinancial success in STEMfields. Furthermore,results point to the need for STEM education programs that present broaderSTEM career possibilities, including careers that integrate social justice, empa-thy, and equity matters.


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