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Practicing Equity and Advocacy in Rapid Decarbonization

In the urgent call to respond to our climate crisis, we must recognize that decarbonization is directly connected to health, safety, and equity. AEC professionals are working on design and policy changes to rapidly eliminate carbon emissions from our built environment. But what barriers prevent us from taking leaps towards rapid decarbonization, despite this necessity? What responsibilities do architects have as advocates? And how do we ensure our processes support equitable and resilient communities? Through exploring 1) the health impacts of material sourcing; 2) strategies for reducing embodied carbon; and 3) regulatory frameworks and cost implications, this year’s thought leadership summit will take a systems-approach to diminish implementation challenges and make actionable differences in policy and practice.

Join us online, April 25-26, 2022 for AIA Seattle’s 2022 (Virtual) Climate Leadership Summit! Purchase a Summit pass for discounted access to both days of programming (8 AIA LU HSW). Single session registration is available for the keynote presentation on April 25, 9am PT (2 AIA LU HSW).

Click the schedule button for a PDF of the program schedule and speaker bios. All sessions and speakers subject to change.

Click here for schedule

Click here for attendee resources


Includes continuing education credit (8 AIA LU HSW). All sessions and speakers subject to change. 

$60 $69 AIA Member
$60 $69 Government + Partners
$30 $34 Associate Member
$90 $103 Non-Member
FREE Student

Registration has closed

Early Bird Deadline: Monday, April 18, 2022. After this time, the price increases 15%. Registration Deadline: Friday, April 22, 5:00pm PT. All sessions and speakers subject to change. 

This is a 2-day program consisting of four two-hour sessions. Participants must attend the full program in order to receive continuing education credit or a certificate of completion. All registration and credit questions can be directed to Andrea Aguilera

Reduced rate options are available (priority given to AIA members). Please submit the Continuing Education Scholarship / Reduced Rate Request Form via email by Monday, April 18, 5:00pm PT. 


Power + Place | Bryan Lee Jr.

Session 1 | 9:00 – 11:00am PT | Opening Keynote

Moderator: Erin Ishizaki AIA, AICP | Partner, Mithun

Bryan Lee Jr., Founder/Director, Colloqate Design | Architect and Design Justice Advocate, Founder/Director of Colloqate Design, a nonprofit design practice. A founding organizer of the Design As Protest Collective and Dark Matter University. Led two award-winning architecture + design programs for high school students through the Arts Council of New Orleans (local) and the National Organization of Minority Architects (national), respectively. National NOMA South VP. Many awards and fellowships.  2018 Fast Company Most Creative People in Business and Youngest firm to win the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices award in 2019.  2021 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award.

This keynote will explore the privilege and power structures that have defined injustice in the built environment from America’s inception. We will look at the history of the design justice movement and how the theory of practice continually advocates for the dismantling of power ecosystems that use architecture and design to create injustice throughout the built environment. This will be further applied through the lens of environmental justice.

Not a pass-holder? Keynote ONLY registration is available, price varies $0-30. CLICK HERE for more information or simply register below.

Advocating to Eliminate Embodied Carbon

Session 2 | 12:00 – 2:00pm PT | Panel Discussion 

  • Moderator: Alex Ianchenko Assoc. AIA | Researcher/Designer, The Miller Hull Partnership
  • Michelle Connor | President & CEO, Forterra
  • David Diaz | Director of Forestry Technology & Analytics, Ecotrust
  • Davina Duerr | State Representative, 1st Legislative District; Architect and Owner, Haven Works, LLC
  • Meghan Lewis | Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum

This session will explore significant research, opportunities, and strategies for reducing atmospheric carbon and impacts on the health and well-being of our ecosystems at-large. We will examine small resource-based economies, sustainable forestry initiatives and practices, and data and policy interventions that examine the responsibility of the industry and government, advocate for systems-change, and support the elimination of embodied carbon from the built environment. 


Equitable Life-Cycles in Healthy Materials Sourcing 

Session 3 | 9:00 – 11:00am PT | Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Mark Vossler | President, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Gina Ciganik | CEO, Healthy Building Network 
  • Bradford C. Grant | Professor of Architecture, Howard University
  • Nora Rizzo | Sustainable Materials Director, Grace Farms Foundation
  • Mike Schade | Mind the Store Campaign Director, Toxic-Free Future

We must take a whole life cycle approach to healthy material sourcing that considers the spectrum of upstream and downstream impacts of decarbonization and supports equitable outcomes for communities. Expanding on the focus of last year’s Just Transition Summit, this session will investigate healthy building strategies, labor and supply chain implications, materials toxicity and chemical concerns that affect the lived experiences of users, and historical and current community design practices. 

The Value of Responsible Building

Session 4 | 12:00 – 2:00pm PT | Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Rico Quirindongo AIA | Acting Director, City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development
  • Grace Park-Bradbury | General Manager- West, BlocPower
  • Molly McCabe | CEO, HaydenTanner
  • Michael Newland | Northern California Cultural Resources Director, Environmental Science Associates (ESA)
  • Gladys Ly-Au Young AIA, LEED AP | Partner, Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects

High costs can be viewed as a significant barrier to decarbonization strategies. But across project scales, we must build responsibly based on what can be afforded and consider how the investments we make now can have the most equitable long-term impacts. This session will explore research on affordable housing strategies, examples of all-electric systems implementation in low-income communities, decision-making processes to encourage owner/developer buy-in, and our collaborative responsibilities to the land and communities. 


  • Examine the link between social justice and environmental sustainability in fostering health, safety, and equity in communities.
  • Discover the architect’s role in environmental justice and unlock implementation sticking points in accelerating a decarbonized built environment.
  • Foster advocacy capacity and explore opportunities to influence building decarbonization through a systemic and collaborative approach
  • Explore best practices in material reuse and disassembly approaches for mitigating environmental and health impacts.
  • Investigate whole life cycle strategies to mitigate the upstream and downstream impacts of decarbonization.
  • Evaluate high-impact policy interventions that make actionable differences in reducing atmospheric carbon produced by the built environment.
  • Identify regulatory frameworks and financing mechanisms that support electrification, retrofitting, and responsible building at varying project scales.


Longboard Products | ARUP | Cascadia Windows & Doors | FSi Engineers | Greenhome Solutions | Holmes Structures | McKinstryP2S Inc. | Vitro Architectural GlassBNBuilders | BRC Acoustics & Audiovisual Design | DCI Engineers | Degenkolb Engineers | Hargis Engineers | PAE | Parker, Smith & Feek | Puget Sound EnergySäzän | TFWB Engineers


Cassandra Delaune | Interim Executive Director, Seattle 2030 District
Chris Hellstern, AIA, LFA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT Living Building Challenge Services Director, The Miller Hull Partnership
Tanya Kataria, Assoc. AIA, WELL AP, LEED Green Assoc | Weber Thompson
Claire McConnell, BEMP | Associate, Mithun
Deepa Sivarajan | Washington Clean Buildings Policy Manager, Climate Solutions
Jessie Templeton, AIA, LFA | Embodied Carbon Specialist, Associate, GGLO

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

Program Questions?
Contact Zoe Guckenheimer, Programs Manager at AIA Seattle

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


April 25, 2022 @ 9:00 am
April 26, 2022 @ 2:00 pm
Event Price
Class Credit


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938