February 16, 2021Reading Time: 3 minutes
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, Chair of the AIA New Jersey Equity in Architecture Committee and Libertad Harris, Associate AIA, Chair of the AIA New Jersey Women In Architecture Committee
2020 has been a year like no other. 2020 has brought about change in the way our industry addresses the climate crisis, it has brought about change in the way we communicate virtually with each other on the same projects, and it has brought about change in how we address social injustice. Social Injustice comes in many forms like the redlining of communities, blighting what was once thriving neighborhoods, or creating toxic zones in socio-economic challenged communities. However, it also comes in the form of the homogeneousness of the people who create those communities.
Architecture is an industry that changes very slowly, however, through the research conducted by AIA, NOMA, ACSA, and NCARB over the past 20 years, the architecture industry is coming to the realization that without action, the social injustice, in which our industry play a part, will not self-correct. Specifically, the research by AIA, NOMA, ACSA, and NCARB indicate that the following issues may be significant barriers to Black, Indigenous, and people of color becoming licensed Architects:
Statistics researched over the past 20 years indicate that barriers do exist for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color and do create a hardship that other demographics seem to be less restricted by.
AIA-NJ has begun to address these inadequacies by starting at the K-12 level to expose our future designers, future leaders, and future clients about architecture. AIA-NJ’s goal to reach out to every child and allow them to dream about a career in architecture, to help them believe that the path to licensure is possible, and work tirelessly to help every child achieve that goal.
AIA-NJ will continue our open discussions with our members, partner organizations, such as NOMA-NJ, and our K-12 and university students. AIA-NJ is committed to subsequent action on the subject to increase awareness and equalize the support, opportunity, and access to the profession for all demographics.
AIA-NJ believes that our profession should be populated by people who demonstrate the credentials required to be an architect, regardless of color or socio-economic background. We join AIA National, multitudes of industry partners, and the American workforce to address this inequity in every industry. We encourage everyone to read the research and support these efforts making changes in your own schools, your own firms, and your own communities. Reach out to the Equity in Architecture Committee to offer your own stories of support, your suggestions for change, or to ask how you can be a part of our efforts.
NCARB By The Numbers 2020
NOMA’s Public Statement Regarding Public Injustice
ACSA’s Where Are My People? Black in Architecture by Kendall A. Nicholson, ED.D., Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED GA https://www.acsa-arch.org/resources/data-resources/where-are-my-people-black-in-architecture/?fbclid=IwAR1NdEis8eOcz8E_mW1Hvjz4E8YBIBPKj4ZT5e4jJUYiduJRNdS-i1FFStU
ACSA’s Where Are My People? Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander in Architecture by Kendall A. Nicholson, ED.D., Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED GA https://www.acsa-arch.org/resources/data-resources/where-are-my-people-asian-american-native-hawaiian-and-pacific-islander-in-architecture/
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in Diversity, EquityInArchitecture | Tagged: #AfricanAmercians, #Belonging, #BlackHistoryMonth, #diversity, #EDI, #equity, #Inclusion, #Indigenous, #LaurenHarrisAssociateAIA, #LibertadLaurenHarrisAssociateAIA, #PeopleOfColor, #POC, #StaceyRuhleKlieschAIA, #WIA, #womeninarchitecture, ncarb, NOMA | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.