2021 Culture Change in Practice: A Leadership Cohort

AIA Seattle, in close collaboration with NOMA Northwest and Planning in Color, is proud to announce its first culture change leadership cohort.

This four-part, peer-based learning program was designed by a team of architects and allied professionals over the past nine months to specifically provide architecture and allied firms the tools and community to meet the explicit goals and metrics laid out in NOMA NW’s Call-to-Action.

The architectural profession is still predominantly white and predominantly male. Of the AIA Seattle’s over 2,600 members, just 33 are African American, and 4 are Indigenous American, while only 31% are women according to AIA members’ self-reported data. Creating culture change within architecture firms is a critical step to creating a more diverse and equitable profession. And through this professional change, AIA Seattle hopes to influence broader cultural change, due to the unique role of architects in crafting our physical environment.

This program builds off AIA Seattle’s Intercultural Leadership Program and Conversations Toward A More Equitable Practice series in 2019, and is part of our Racial Justice Commitments, enumerated following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, Ahmaud Arbery, and numerous others in 2020 and our local Racial Justice Town Hall in June. In the wake of a spring of anti-AAPI violence and a deeply embedded set of built environment-centric challenges, AIA Seattle is using this program as another opportunity to equip ourselves and our members to learn how to be antiracist, and build more equitable relationships in our firms, and in the projects and communities we serve.


We invite a dedicated cohort of 40 firm leaders who have committed to, or are considering, the NOMA NW Call-to-Action Pledge. This peer-to-peer learning cohort, facilitated by Dr. Anu Taranath, will support firms’ ability to live up to the goals of the pledge and equip leaders to catalyze change outward in their own firms.

  • (40) Firm Leaders: lead firms, lead practice groups, lead teams, are direct supervisors, make key decisions and have significant influence and power in shaping the culture and staffing of the firm or projects i.e Principals, Partners, Owners – with the intent of facilitating broader impact within their firms and industry

Space is limited to 40 total registrants. At this time, we request that no more than two (2) individuals per firm participate. 


PLEASE NOTE: Each registration confirms a spot for one individual based on the size of their firm. Up to two (2) individuals per firm may participate. 

$350  1-7 Employees (firm size)
$800  8-49 Employees (firm size)
$1200  50+ Employees (firm size)
$1200  CAP Sponsors

Registration has closed.

Registration Deadline: Thursday, May 21, 5:00pm PT. All sessions and speakers subject to change.

Registration includes all four courses in the series. Individual course registration is not available. All registration questions can be directed to Andrea Aguilera

In recognition that this fee may present a hardship to some firms who are nevertheless committed to investing in the work, limited reduced rate options are available on a first come, first serve basis (priority given to AIA members). Please submit the Scholarship / Reduced Rate Request Form via email by Thursday, May 21, 5:00pm PT.  


Series registrants commit to participate in all four courses, understanding that the content will be designed sequentially for cohort-based learning. 

Session 1 | Monday, May 24, 9:00am-12:00pm PT 

Session 2 | Monday, June 21, 9:00am-12:00pm PT 

Session 3 | Monday, October 4 October 11, 9:00am-12:00pm PT 

Session 4 | Monday, December 6, 9:00am-12:00pm PT 

Click here for attendee resources

Guiding questions and readings will be sent to participants prior to, and following, each session.


Dr. Anu Taranath, Dr. Anu Consulting: dialogues for justice | Dr. Anu Taranath brings both passion and expertise to her work as a speaker, facilitator, author and educator. A University of Washington professor for the past 20 years, she teaches about race, gender, equity, and global literatures. As a DEI and racial equity consultant, she offers coaching, training, facilitation and other types of partnerships. Her book Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World was named a Finalist for four book awards including the Washington State Book Award. Included in Fodor’s Travel’s “13 Books to Inspire Your Travels” and Oprah Magazine’s “Best 26 Travel Books of All Times,” Dr. Anu and her book have been profiled in YES!, AFAR, Bitch, Mindful and National Geographic magazines. Please visit www.anutaranath.com for more on Dr. Anu and her work.



ARUP | Betts, Patterson & Mines P.S. | Coughlin Porter Lundeen | FSi Engineers | AP Design Professionals



Whitney Lewis, Assoc. AIA, Diversity Roundtable/GGLO | Jennie C. Li, Planning in Color | Meredith Everist AIA, Baylis Architects/AIA Seattle Board Past President | Marijana Misic AIA, Mahlum Architects | Simba Mafundikwa Assoc. AIA, GGLO/NOMA NW | Michael Bryant, Mithun Architects/NOMA NW | Veronica Barrow Assoc. AIA, Veronica Barrow Design/NOMA NW | Richard Murray, Diversity Roundtable/Planning In Color | Patreese Martin AIA, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson | Susan Frieson AIA, NOMA NW/Weber Thompson | Genevieve MacNeil Assoc. AIA, Gensler | Kristen Riley Assoc. AIA, LMN Architects | Mathew Albores AIA, The Miller Hull Partnership | Mark Chubb Assoc. AIA, Code Unlimited

Registration or Credit Questions?
Contact Andrea Aguilera, Programs Coordinator at AIA Seattle

Program Questions?
Contact Connor Descheemaker, Member Engagement Manager at AIA Seattle

Sponsorship Questions?
Contact Kristen Lound, Associate Director of Growth & Operations at AIA Seattle