Engineering Equality: The Evolution of the Black Student Experience at Lehigh University is the product of three years of work by a team of one graduate student, five undergraduate students, and one faculty advisor, each of whom worked closely with three professional staff members to produce this documentary film. The students were supported by two Lehigh Mountaintop Project Grants for stipends and expenses. (Three core student team members were supported by the grants for two summers.)
Engineering Equality explores the evolution of the Black student experience at Lehigh University. Starting from the first Black student graduation in the in the 1950s, this documentary draws on interviews with alumni, current students, faculty and administrators, as well as extensive archival research, to explore the challenges that have Black students faced over several decades. The story is one of students who seek to define their place in a challenging and sometimes hostile environment as they also create a supportive community among students of color, and of a university that strives with mixed success to respond to the needs of these students.
Engineering Equality demonstrates a cycle in which issues of race and diversity become a significant agenda item for an institution, progress is made, and then progress slows again until the next move forward. Created at a time when issues of race and inclusion were beginning to erupt on college campuses across the nation, the film provides a window into climate issues far too common in America today.
Jennifer Jensen, Lehigh University, Aaron Luedtke, Viviana Rios, Kelsey Alpaio, Paul Lyons Jr., and Corey Ross
This Mountain Top project explores the evolution of the black student experience at Lehigh University.