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JE:DI Won’t Save You, But Action Will

NOMA Unplugged Panel Teaser

Get a sneak peek of JE:DI Won’t Save You, But Action Will, which will be delivered this fall at NOMA Unplugged. This panel will bring AIA JE:DI Council, AIA Oregon, NOMA, and NOMA NW together into the conversation about how real collaborative work will increase the probability of expanding JEDI outreach and programs.

At its core, the architecture profession is about empowering communities, enabling them to find joy and fulfillment through the built environment. As designers, one of the biggest challenges we face is a history of racist systems, policies, and procedures that have disproportionately disadvantaged BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) communities. In order to repair past harm, our AIA & NOMA Chapters are committed to identifying, naming, and dismantling systemic discrimination within the architecture profession in order to nurture universal inclusion and fairness for the communities we serve. How do we affect real and lasting change toward JEDI within our practices and communities? How do we translate the momentum of local movements to larger regional and
national communities?

AIA Seattle formed the JE:DI Council in 2020 to respond to continuing violence against BIPOC communities. By forging connections and collaborating across west coast AIA chapters, we are expanding our reach and impact with the goal of sparking a national conversation around meaningful actions that bring about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in architecture. Eight panelists, representing their respective EDI committees within AIA/NOMA, will describe the JEDI work undertaken separately and, more recently, together, expanding to encompass identities beyond race. Five of our panelists will present the full program at NOMA Unplugged in Nashville in October.

Join us September 27, 2022 // ONLINE // 12:00-1:00pm PT

Registration for this program will go to fund travel expenses to bring this program to a national audience at NOMA Unplugged this October.

Program or Registration Questions?
Contact Annalee Shum, Senior Programs Manager at AIA Seattle


Janiece L. Williams, NOMA | Janiece Williams is trained as an architectural designer, and has over 10 years of experience with a wide range and scale of architectural project types including adaptive reuse, tenant improvements, and large scale mixed-use multi-family projects throughout Los Angeles and the San Francisco South Bay area. Janiece developed a strong desire to help shape the experience of developing professionals as they navigate the architecture industry. This passion led her to diversity, equity and inclusion consulting and her current role as the Executive Director of LeaderFlow. She believes that in order for the architecture, engineering, and construction industry to attract and retain top talent, there has to be more emphasis on an inclusive work environment that prioritizes diverse career paths and invests in well-rounded professional development training for those at various stages of the career. She is an active member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and was a longtime volunteer and planning team member for the SoCal NOMA Annual Project Pipeline Summer Camp. She also served as the SoCal NOMA Executive Board Secretary from 2018-2021. During her tenure, she was an integral part of launching the 2020 SoCal NOMA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Challenge as the architecture industry’s first industry-wide structured DEI initiative as a response to battling racial injustices and the longstanding lack of representation throughout the profession.

Joshua A. Foster, NOMA, Assoc. AIA | Joshua A. Foster, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, is an award-winning architectural designer and Community Design Consultant specifically for his commitment to community outreach and engagement relating to the built environment. He spent the early years of his career focusing on the design and construction of affordable and market-rate housing projects in Los Angeles County while building on his education in Real Estate Development. Combining that with his connections within the small business and entrepreneurial ecosystem of LA, Joshua transformed his experiences into the founding of JAF Creative Solutions, LLC— a community-impact focused strategic partnership and design consultancy firm. Beyond his day to day work, Joshua is also an Adjunct Professor in the architecture department at East Los Angeles College, a board member of the Long Beach Community Design Center, the NOMA National Historian, a high school football coach, and a musician. A native of the Philadelphia area, Joshua is a graduate of both Columbia University and the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Architecture and Sustainability and an M.Arch in Architecture with a Real Estate Development Certificate respectively.

Leon Holloway, NOMA, AIA, DLR Group, NOMA NW | Leon Holloway is a licensed architect with over 16 years of experience in the State of Washington and currently works at DLR Group working on a myriad of projects from new projects to tenant improvements. He has worked on institutional, commercial, multi-family, affordable housing, medical, transportation civic, and justice projects throughout the United States. He currently serves as the NOMA NW President, who has helped create a Call To Action for the Seattle AEC industry and has helped create bridges between alliant organizations to bring architecture to underrepresented populations. Leon currently volunteers for the AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable, AIA Seattle Program Committee, ACE, and NOMA.

Michael Bryant, NOMA, AIA, Mithun, NOMA NW | Michael is a Miami native architect and urban designer shaped by his travels and diverse exposure to many cultures. Michael continues to explore his passion for finding synergies between buildings and urban environments through professional work experience on multi-family residential, education, and master planning projects complementing his design focused education in both the US and abroad. He has 7 years of experience working on projects at a variety of scales in multiple design and construction phases. When approaching design, Michael strives to always listen first and work collaboratively with others to help create impactful environments that foster positive experiences. Coupled with his professional experience, Michael is also involved in the Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion working group (JEDI) at Mithun in addition to serving as the Allied Associates Liaison for the National Organization of Minority Architects Northwest Chapter (NOMA NW). Michael was one of the early contributors for the Call-To-Action program and now leads ongoing CTA efforts for NOMA NW. Michael’s most important motivating philosophy is “Live To Impact”

Michele Hill AIA headshot

Michele Hill, AIA, NCARB, SEED AP, AIA Seattle, JE:DI Council | Michele is an Architect at BuildingWork in Seattle, WA, with over 13 years of experience in architecture and urban planning. Her work focuses on institutional and community-oriented projects, with expertise in early learning centers and projects with complex land use and code issues. A consistent thread throughout her work is an emphasis on beautiful and functional spaces that improve people’s daily lives. Michele is currently serving as President Elect of AIA Seattle, co-chair of the JE:DI Council, and an active Women in Design committee member. She previously served as chair of the Membership Steering Committee and the appointed JE:DI representative to the Member Advancement Committee. Michele holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech, with minors in public & urban affairs and French, and a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Washington, with an environmental planning specialization. Outside of work, you can find Michele exploring the Pacific Northwest on foot or by sailboat.

Octavio Guiterrez AIA, AIAO, CoEDISince joining Mahlum in 2017, Octavio has been committed to bringing equitable and inclusive design processes and practices to projects across our K-12, higher education, and healthcare markets. Octavio’s 20 years of experience covers all phases of design, from planning through construction, with a focus on residential environments. He is actively involved in mentoring along the entire professional pipeline, eager to share his experience and belief that we are all key players in shaping the world around us. Octavio has a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a licensed architect in Oregon and California. Octavio serves as Vice-Chair for the AIA Oregon Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Since joining Mahlum in 2017, Octavio has been committed to bringing equitable and inclusive design processes and practices to K-12, higher education, and healthcare projects. He is actively involved in mentoring along the entire professional pipeline, eager to share his experience and belief that we are all key players in shaping the world around us. Octavio serves as Vice-Chair for the AIA Oregon Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Susan Frieson, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, JE:DI Council |  Susan’s 25 plus years of experience in architecture, reflects a variety of project types, including institutional, hospitality and multi-family, both national and international. She has touched multiple phases of the design process from schematic design through construction administration including wood framed, concrete and steel construction types. As part of the high-rise studio within Weber Thompson, she has worked on several high-rise multi-family & mixed-use projects, shaping Seattle’s skyline. Susan has been actively involved in promoting diversity and equity within the profession and was instrumental in Weber Thompson’s formation of an EDI committee within the office. As well as being an active member within several AIA Seattle boards and committees committed to change within the profession, locally & nationally.
Susan feels that architects are continually learning and as problem solvers /visionaries are obligated to provide the best design solutions possible for any project. Susan has been with Weber Thompson for 9 years, where she is a Sr Associate.

Whitney Lewis, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, AIA Seattle, JE:DI Council | Whitney Lewis is a designer and an associate at GGLO’s Seattle office within their affordable housing group. She’s currently working on Africatown Plaza and has worked Everett Housing Authority Baker Heights, Jackson Park Village and Wa Na Wari.  Whitney, along with her colleagues, is researching equitable design practices within multi-family projects at the firm. Whitney is passionate about community input and involvement in the design process and within the built environment.  She volunteers with AIA Seattle as a co-chair of the Professional Practice Steering Committee, co-chair of the JE:DI Council and is on the Board of Directors.  She is currently a mentor with AIA Seattle’s Laddership, is a member of NOMA | NW and is one of 17 women from across the United States selected for AIA National’s Next to Lead Program.  Whitney is a former appointed member of AIA Seattle’s Membership Steering Committee and former chair of AIA Seattle’s Diversity Roundtable. In and outside of work Whitney seeks to make connections to encourage and promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the AEC community.


Whitney Lewis, Assoc. AIA (co-chair) |GGLO
Rob Misel, AIA (co-chair) | The Miller Hull Partnership
Michele Hill, AIA (co-chair) | BuildingWork
Michelle Yates, AIA |Bassetti Architects
Susan Frieson, AIA| Weber Thompson
Amarpreet Sethi, Assoc. AIA|Enviro Passiv
Osama Quotah, AIA |LMN Architects

Program or Registration Questions?
Contact Annalee Shum, Senior Programs Manager at AIA Seattle


September 27, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Price
Class Credit


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938