Black History Month – 2022
AIA champions a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession of architecture to create a better environment for all and believes that achieving this vision has a direct impact on the relevance of our profession and the world's prosperity, health, and future.
At AIA Seattle we share this vision and celebrate the contributions of Black architects and designers to our profession. We are committed to a process of transparency in what measurable actions we are taking in pursuit of racial justice. We have established an evolving list for the sake of mutual accountability in our member-led organization. Read the full evolving list of Racial Justice commitments here.
This past year encouraged each of us to find new ways to grow, adapt, and challenge the world around us. In 2021, the JE:DI Council worked in support of the Chapter’s ongoing EDI work, naming and confronting systemic discrimination within the AEC professions. Currently, this group is evaluating the impact of the policies that guide our Chapter, with the goal of proposing recommendations to provide greater access and foster a culture of inclusion and fairness. This group meets twice a month, with lunchtime listening sessions planned on the second Tuesday of each month. Connect with the JE:DI Council chairs to learn more about how to get engaged.
As a corollary to our 2019 Intercultural Leadership Program and 2021 Culture Change in Practice leadership cohort, AIA Seattle is continuing its partnership with NOMA NW and Planning in Color to convene its second architecture and allied firm leadership cohort for 2022. Through peer-based learning, this group will develop and share with one another best practices to meet the objectives laid out in the NOMA NW Call-to-Action. This year’s series registration launches next week!
Diversity Roundtable Committee Updates
Diversity by Design: Equity in Architecture, the latest exhibit @ the Center, showcases 7 Northwest Regional projects submitted to Diversity Roundtable’s open call to celebrate the work of underrepresented designers. This show, which complements the Diversity by Design website, offers an opportunity for underrepresented architects to showcase their work and highlights the experience and impact community involvement has on the architect of color, the design of the building, and the community in which the building resides.
While the “Architects in Schools” program is still on pause, Diversity Roundtable (DRT) has been working with the Wild Students in collaboration with Sawhorse Revolution, virtually mentoring high school students about the design and build process. In 2021, together they transformed the design of the Garden Shed for Danny Woo Gardens.
Join Diversity Roundtable! DRT attracts, retains, and empowers individuals of underrepresented backgrounds in the profession of architecture through scholarship, community service, and activism. DRT meets (virtually until further notice) the first Tuesday of every month at 5 pm.
NOMA National‘s Prescott Reavis, with help from Rachel Bascombe, curated a month of Black history in architecture spotlights, Looking Black on Instagram. We offer our condolences to the NOMA community and the family and friends of Prescott Reavis, who passed away earlier this week.
NOMA partners with Black Spectacles to ease the licensure process for minority architects.
Extended Community Events and Resources
The 2022 Black History Month Virtual Festival explores Black Health and Wellness. Black Bodies: From Exploitation to Excellence, kicks off tomorrow, featuring panel discussions exploring historic exploitation of Black bodies for the advancement of scientific and medical discovery. See the full schedule and purchase tickets now!
Fireclay Tile and the Architecture Foundation have sponsored a Diversity Advancement Scholarship to support Black Women in Architecture. More information here.
Learn about Black history in five minutes a day with 28 Days of Black History. Curated by Black artists, educators, curators, and visionaries, this interactive series will center on stories of Black marginalized voices that are often overlooked in Black history narratives.
Hip Hop Architecture Camp positions Hip Hop culture as a catalyst to introduce underrepresented youth to architecture, urban planning, and design. It is a one-week intensive experience, designed to introduce underrepresented youth to architecture, urban planning, creative placemaking, and economic development through the lens of hip hop culture. Volunteer or host a camp with them now!
#EQxD2022 – The JE:DI Agenda in Action Series is an augmented series of panels and workshops that proposes a new paradigm for designing a just future in which the built environment cultivates dignity, belonging, agency and mutualism.
The AIA Guides for Equitable Practice are a resource to help ensure organizations meet professional and cultural awareness expectations of employees and clients.
Articles of note:
- AIA’s New CEO Lakisha Woods Advocates for Fearless Leadership
- Shoppe Blackhighlights 8 Seattle structures designed by Black Architects
- Henry Lee examinesSeattle and its complicated history with the Black community through photography.
- Architizer’s 12 Black Architects Making History Today
- Dezeen Magazine asked 12 renowned Black architects and designers to spotlight a fellow Black contemporary who deserves greater recognition
Have another event or resource we should share? Tell us about it here.