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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Founder of Black-Owned Academy Urges More STEM Education For Black and Brown Communities

Marlon Lindsey, founder and CEO of 21stCentEd

Pleasant Grove, UT — Marlon Lindsay, founder and CEO of 21stCentEd (A virtual STEM and CTE academy), announces the urgency of providing STEM education for all – especially for black, brown, and other minority communities. “Absent from economic opportunities created by a STEM education – for the most part – are black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC),” says Lindsay. He continues, “It is not merely a social good or altruism to include these historically underrepresented groups; it’s an economic imperative.”

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – when taken together as an integrated discipline, provides opportunities for students to develop the enduring skills of critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. A STEM project, by its nature, is an experience in the skills dubbed as 21st-century skills.

After a decision to step away from an executive role at a well-respected employer, and a surreal shuttering of a newly formed marketing team at another, Marlon decided to create 21stCentEd and be the change he wanted to see in the STEM community. After two iterations of being called to work in the area of STEM education, he is “more convinced than ever before that the lack of a STEM foundation for all kids is the most severe long-term threat to this country outside of pandemics and vicissitudes.”

For the rest of the 21st-century, businesses will accelerate their investments in STEM fields. We have already seen many businesses invest in things such as robotics in manufacturing, self-driving trucks in transportation, AI-reading x-rays in medicine, robots making burgers, and #D printed houses to name a few. Results of this acceleration will force society to move beyond students with the natural disposition for STEM.

“We must ensure a comprehensive STEM foundation for all students, just as we do with math and reading,” says Lindsay. He continues, “The confluence of technology, such as artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, and other emerging technologies, is transforming our world in a way that will render its citizens useless if not prepared.”

Universities and businesses continue to study the impact of the confluence of technology. The Oxford University Study on Employment indicates that 47% of all jobs will be eliminated or impacted by technology. The McKinsey study suggests that 50% of all jobs are automatable and 30% will be automated by 2030. The World Economic Forum reports that 6.1 million jobs will be created because of automation. Lindsay predicts that the coronavirus pandemic will impact these numbers as employers look to guard against another year like 2020 by automating as many functions as possible using current and emerging technologies.

There are simply not enough workers in today’s climate to fill the demand for STEM jobs. “We will need 2.4M advanced manufacturing workers, 2.7M data scientists, and just over 300,000 cybersecurity professionals in the US over the next few years. And these are pre-pandemic numbers,” says Lindsay. As we transition into a more techno-dominant society, the innovations will need people. The people at the heart of these innovations will determine the direction of our society while making a great living, changing the trajectory of life for their families for generations to come.

The United States is being challenged from all sides for our innovative dominance. India, China, and others are investing heavily to ensure that they become globally competitive, catching the U.S. off guard. As such, the urgency of STEM in black and brown communities is about education, workforce development, and economic prosperity.

Lindsay says his mission through 21stCentEd is “to make STEM and CTE education available and accessible to all students, in-school, after-school, and out-of-school. And specifically, working with schools, nonprofits, and communities to make sure that black and brown kids, girls, and rural communities get the support they need to participate confidently in what is coined by the World Economic Forum as the fourth industrial revolution.”

About the founder

Marlon Lindsay is a business leader and writer who is committed to helping people reach their full potential. He believes that the stewardship of young people is a biological imperative and thus the world’s ultimate priority. He pursues this priority daily with his own six children and the work that he does 21stCentEd and TechTrep.

For press inquiries, contact Dylan Howard at (725) 212-2899 or learn@21cented.com