A major factor in African-American students' experiences at predominately white institutions (PWI’s) are the creation/control of counter-cultural spaces and symbols. Counter-cultural space and symbols are photographs, buildings, publications, physical space, sculptures, plaques, walls, open-displays, and artifacts that depict the presence, norms, beliefs, practices, and social behaviors of a particular group. Solórzano et. al. (2000) found that development of social and academic counter-spaces in response to systemic barriers on and off campus provide autonomy, flexibility, and agency to a group that has been restricted and regulated by counter norms of a dominate culture. AAMI has established a vibrant academic environment through conferences and workshops that function as counter-cultural spaces and yet facilitate the rigor, problem-solving, and project team competency necessary to thrive at an institute of technology and in STEM related careers.