Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

Founded in 2018, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDI Committee) promotes, advocates, and creates opportunities for greater equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the practice of architecture.

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AIA Designight 2022

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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Leadership

Riya Desai

Co-Chair

Riya Desai, Assoc. AIA

HPZS
Katie Hart

Co-Chair

Katie Hart, Assoc. AIA, SEED

Valerio Dewalt Train

Members

  • Sam Bautista, Assoc. AIA | Wallin Gomez Architects
  • Odile Compagnon, AIA | Odile Compagnon Architect and SAIC
  • Sara Fetterolf, AIA | exp.
  • Natalie Hicks, AIA | HPZS
  • Charlie McIlraith, Assoc. AIA | BKV Group
  • Michael Schwindenhammer, AIA | Eppstein Uhen Architects
  • Kaitlin Streyle, AIA | Muller2
  • Roderic Walton, AIA | Moody Nolan

 


The EDI Committee uses the following to describe and define equity, diversity, and inclusion in practice:

  • Equity – Means a condition is level and impartial. Acknowledging an uneven playing field, recognizing inherent power differentials and disparate treatment based on identity.
  • Diversity – Mix of different kinds of people. Identity markers, such as gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, age, and disability.
  • Inclusion – Creates an environment in which everyone is able to equally contribute to discussions and decision-making and have the ability to help change systems.

EDI Committee Goals:

The EDI Committee has set measurable goals that meet AIA National keystones and local priorities via a two-pronged approach: Action and Awareness.  The EDI Committee goals include:

Awareness = Data Collection & Analysis
  • Measure and report how principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion permeate the AIA which begins by compiling data of AIA staff, volunteers, and elected and appointed leaders on national, regional, local, and component levels.
  • Promote guides for equitable, diverse, and inclusive practice. See AIA Guides for Equitable Practice.
  • Develop a firm self-assessment tool to measure and track initiatives that create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive practice. Criteria can include policies, life/work, family-friendly benefits, etc.
  • Require equity, diversity and inclusion data as part of AIA awards submissions.
  • Tell our stories through open meetings and panel discussions that continue to develop the messaging that highlights the equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession.
  • Ensure that AIA publications reflect limited multicultural and gender representation and make broader depictions of the full range of communities represented in the ranks of architects.
Action = Creating Change
  • Promote equity, diversity, and inclusion as core values for the Board of Directors. Those actions include resolutions, business items, and member-led initiatives that prepare AIA Chicago to lead relevant and socially-conscious conversations and become an organization that embodies those values.
  • Advocate for equitable and accessible paths to higher education by working with NAAB on accreditation, through advocating for support of existing bridge programs and the creation of new ones, and establishing and growing diversity scholarships and funding for underrepresented students.
  • Engage the next generation and their families with K-12 architecture mentorship programs and to enlist architects to volunteer in communities.
  • Create a pledge for offices to commit to equitable, diverse and inclusive principles and practices.
  • Work within and outside of the workplace to contribute to equity in our communities through architecture.
  • Advocate for equitable policies in our building practices at city and state levels.

AIA Chicago EDI Firm Assessment Tool

The Firm Self-Assessment Tool was developed by the AIA Chicago EDI Committee to promote positive change towards better firm practices. It measures pay equity, along with initiatives that create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive practice.

It is designed for firms to internally measure equity; a resource to potentially take yearly and track progress.

Download the Introductory Packet
Download the Beta Self-Assessment Tool


Resources

AIA has released the Guides for Equitable Practice, published by its Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee (EQFA) and the University of Minnesota. This publication is a vital part of AIA’s long-term commitment to lead efforts that ensure the profession of architecture is as diverse as the nation we serve. These guides will help you make the business and professional case for ensuring that your organization meets the career development, professional environment, and cultural awareness expectations of current and future employees and clients.

Equitable PracticeGuides for Equitable Practice   

These guides will help you make the business and professional case for ensuring that your organization meets the career development, professional environment, and cultural awareness expectations of current and future employees and clients.

 

 

Race and equity at AIA

Race and equity at AIA    

Harnessing the passion of our members and the broader design community, AIA is taking steps to advance racial justice and equity in our organization, in our profession, and in our communities.

 

 

Women in ArchitectureWomen in architecture   

To achieve an equitable profession, these resources are designed for women to assist with leadership development, career resources, and peer networking.

 

 

 

Photo of a booklet on An Investigation into Bias in the Architecture Profession

An Investigation into the Bias in the Architecture Profession   

This study examines basic patterns of bias, where bias is playing out, and its impact on outcomes to move beyond anecdote, and to deepen, identify, and address issues of bias, sexism, and racism within firm culture.

 

 

Outside Courtyard of Roxbury (mass.) Library with Residents and Bike Path.

Architect’s Role in Creating Equitable Communities Guide   

This resource shares how architects can, in their practices, bring about racially just and equitable outcomes for all members of the communities they serve. These actions take place both within projects and beyond.

 

Thank you to our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee Sponsors:

Lead:

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