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Our Story


Years of Experience

Our Story Welcome to NBCFAE

We provide support and advocacy for African American and minority employees against any type of discrimination in the agency.

  • Over 1000 Membersin regions & chapters created to provide highly effective training & creative resources to succeed in today's world.
  • Over 40 years experienceNBCFAE, a nationwide network, has been dedicated to promoting equal employment for African Americans, female and minority employees;

Our Story:

In its brief but influential history, the NBCFAE succeeded in organizing minority employees throughout the FAA into a collective voice. The NBCFAE developed a Skills Bank of qualified minorities for job referrals, conducted extensive recruiting efforts for aviation careers throughout the country, and provided input to various training, recruiting initiatives, personnel programs, and policies of the FAA. Civil Rights seminars, job awareness sessions, and career progression presentations have been conducted within the coalition. In general, NBCFAE has provided needed information to all employees regarding various special programs designed to advance and enhance their careers and other opportunities.

NBCFAE continues to formulate ideas, cite problems, and offer input to various programs and policies that affect minority employees in the FAA. It is the first professional government organization with goals and objectives focused on minority and female FAA employees. Its constitution continues to be used as a reference guide in the formulation of other FAA organizations that focus on minority and female concerns.


In 1968, black air traffic controllers gathered in Washington, DC to talk about the possibility of starting a black controllers union. The primary goals were to increase the number of black controllers in the FAA system and to seek promotions for some of the senior controllers who had never been considered. It was decided that they would unite as a local group, with plans to eventually come together as a national organization. During the next few months, elections were held and the Washington Chapter of Coalition of Black Controllers (CBC) was formed. Most of the efforts for these first few years were concentrated on recruitment and advancement for those who were eligible for promotion to first and second level supervisory positions.


In 1971, several members of the Washington Chapter of CBC traveled to the San Francisco/ Oakland Bay Area to discuss bringing a change in the areas of training, upward mobility, and recruitment of additional black controllers in the agency.


In 1976, in San Diego, California, six air traffic controllers representing a larger group felt it necessary to unite nationally to resolve problems that were not being effectively addressed by labor organizations or various EEO programs.


In 1977, the national constitution and by-laws were ratified and the CBC felt a need to address not only air traffic controller issues but also other FAA occupations. Thus, the CBC’s name changed its name to the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE). The focus was on overcoming specific acts and incidents of discrimination in the workplace against African Americans.


In 1979, the FAA detailed specific guidelines to all regional and Center Managers for interaction between the agency and the NBCFAE is known as the “Interface Letter”.


In 1980, the first National Convention was held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This convention included seminars on leadership, awareness, and career development and featured EEO Special Emphasis Coordinators from FAA Headquarters and Regional offices.


In 1981, the NBCFAE experienced a devastating blow when its membership numbers decreased to 176, due to the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike. Through it all, the NBCFAE has endured through the grace of God, sound organizational structure, and purpose.


In 1982, the C. Alfred Anderson Award was established and there was a banquet held in honor of Mr. Charles Alfred "Chief" Anderson, America's first African American man to receive a private pilot's license (1929). The NBCFAE Coalition motto: "Let each become all they are capable of being” and elements of the Coalition Logo we introduced. The FAA and the NBCFAE began talks for Tuskegee Institute to become the first Historically Black College to offer a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering.


In 1983, the NBCFAE produces its first quarterly publication "UPDATE", followed by "UNITY”, "Visions“, and now “UMOJA”, a monthly electronic newsletter.


In 1986, Corporate Membership was developed and approved.


In 1987, the NBCFAE started its national scholarship program. The first six recipients were awarded $1,000. NBCFAE began awarding the Ron E. McNair, the African American astronaut that died during the launch of Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986; Bronze Eagle; Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award; FAA Manager's Award for Special Performance in NBCFAE; Chapter of the Year Award; Special Achievement; and Region Special Recognition Award.


In 1992, the first Leadership Training Conference was held at the Lincoln Hotel in Oklahoma City Oklahoma.


In 1995, the NBCFAE established a job referral service, Individual Development Plan programs, membership skills bank, leadership development programs, and the Historical Black College Scholarship Endowment Program.


In 1996, the NBCFAE's Legal Committee and Treasury Oversight Committee were established. In addition, the NBCFAE was instrumental in convincing the agency that the Basic Electronic Screening Tool (BEST) and the Air Traffic Selection Assessment Tool (ATSAT) may have an adverse impact on minority selections. BEST was never implemented and ATSAT underwent major changes prior to its implementation.


In 1997, the FAA held its first employee association meeting. At the request of the NBCFAE, the meeting was to eliminate employee dissatisfaction, provide leadership training and development for coalition members, and to assure joint collaboration in the development, initiation, and implementation of new agency policies.


In 1998, NBCFAE established and the Bessie Coleman Award. Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman to hold a pilot license. NBCFAE joined the International Black Aerospace Council (IBAC). NBCFAE partnered with NAACP Federal Sector Task Force, which resulted in the FAA issuing a Zero Tolerance Policy for Discrimination and the Model Work Environment Leadership Strategy and Action Plan to address the EEO complaints backlog and a more timely process to resolve EEO complaints. NBCFAE also began hosting Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academies and participated in the Forum Task Force that developed "A Business Case and Strategic Plan" addressing the underrepresentation of minorities, women and people with targeted disabilities and resulted in the FAA’s Affirmative Employment Oversight Board (AEOB).


In 2000, C-SPAN provided media coverage of the NBCFAE National Training Conference, which gave world prominence to the NBCFAE and highlighted the Coalition’s struggle for a model work environment.


In 2001, the NBCFAE celebrated its 25th Anniversary in Memphis, Tennessee with other member organizations of IBAC, which included the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Organization of Black Airline Pilots, Black Pilots of America, US Army Black Aviation Association, and Negro Airmen International. This was the first time IBAC members co­-convened and with over 3,000 participants was the largest Black aviation event ever held.


In 2003, the NBCFAE Strategic Plan was produced and the President's Commission Committee was implemented.


In 2004, the NBCFAE Mamie W. Mallory Scholarship Foundation was established, incorporating the organization’s non-profit entity. The NBCFAE also implemented the first on-line training process and established special training tools for the National Executive Board. The Advisory Council was also stood up as an avenue to make recommendations to the National Executive Board to ensure a viable future for the organization.


In 2009, The Strategic Plan was updated, and based on NBCFAE recommendation the FAA adopted and implemented the Program for Emerging Leaders (PEL). PEL targeted full-performance employees who aspired to management. The program became part of the FY 2009 FAA Flight Plan and addressed agency-wide leadership development needs and specific requirements of FAA lines of business and staff organizations.


In 2010, formal processes for the Mamie Mallory Education & Scholarship Foundation was established with its own Board of Directors independent of the NBCFAE Executive Board, and IRS non-profit tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] status was restored.

In 2011

In 2011, NBCFAE and the Rainbow Push Coalition signed a cohesive agreement to partner on EEO Affairs.


In 2013, NBCFAE gained the first international members and established the NBCFAE Nigeria Unit.


In 2014, NBCFAE and PWC, traveled to Nigeria to host the first annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. The NBCFAE transitioned to electronic voting. The first digital magazine featuring African-American Managers in the FAA was published by the NBCFAE and shared in FAA Focus. NBCFAE participated in a Rainbow Push panel, led by DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.


In 2015, Rainbow Push Attorney Janice Mathis was very instrumental successfully settling a Class Action complaint with the FAA reimbursing lost funds and restoring lost leave to employees whose leave had been arbitrarily canceled in conjunction with attending the NBCFAE 2012 National Training Conference.


In 2016, the NBCFAE held quarterly meetings with Secretary Foxx. The Employee Association Forum worked together to build a business case for the FAA Administrator requesting an amendment for conference attendance in the Human Resource Policy Manual. The result was an increase in the number of excused leave hours offered to FAA employees for employee association conferences.


In 2019, The NBCFAE met with several congressional members in a series of Capitol “Hill Day” visits to discuss the effects of the 2019 government shutdown and to secure over $3.5 million for the FAAs Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Internship Program. The NBCFAE renamed the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award the “Donnie Simon Equal Employment Opportunity Award”.


In 2020, the NBCFAE for the first time ever rescheduled its National Training Conference due to COVID-19.

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