AIA Creates the Equity in Architecture Commission to Advance Diversity in the Profession

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has created the Equity in Architecture Commission, a blue-ribbon panel of architects, educators and diversity experts to investigate diversity and inclusion in the profession. The 20-member group is charged with assessing recent data, setting a plan of action and reporting on results to the AIA Board of Directors by the end of 2016. The commission is a result of the “Equity in Architecture” resolution passed at the 2015 AIA annual meeting—a call to action to retain talent, advance the profession and further the value of design in society through diversity actions.

“Diversity and inclusion is a priority of the AIA. We have made progress, but not fast enough. The world around us is changing much faster and we can do better,” says 2015 AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. “We have great opportunity now to look at how to achieve the equity, diversity and inclusion in AIA member firms through a creative means and provide a framework for the profession to act faster and better to meet a growing demand for architects.”

The goals for the Equity in Architecture Commission include:

  • Develop specific recommendations that will lead to equitable practices.
  • Create measurable goals and develop mechanisms for assessing ongoing progress.
  • Present a plan of action based on the commission’s recommendations.

“We know looking forward, architects will be in high demand to develop the kind of society and environment that will be conducive to living healthy and living well,” adds Richter. “This aligns with language in the resolution that prompted the formation of the Commission: Equity is everyone’s issue and achieving equitable practice has a direct impact on the relevance, economic health and future of the institute and our profession.”

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