ASLA Announces Participants for Its Diversity Summit

Each year, ASLA brings together the brightest minds in the profession for an opportunity to transform how we address the lack of diverse representation, primarily from African American and Latinx populations. The Diversity Summit this year will be held May 17-19.

“We must distinguish our profession as the leader in zero tolerance for any discrimination in our practice,” says ASLA President Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA. “I have confidence in the trajectory of our profession to move the needle forward.”

Seventeen landscape architects from across the country, representing an array of sectors, were chosen to help address challenges in diversifying the profession and build upon recommendations for a path forward.

The participants this year are:

  • Patricia Algara, BASE Landscape Architecture
  • Valerie Aymer, Cornell University
  • Irene Compadre, Arbolope Studio
  • Aiman Duckworth, Biohabitats Inc.
  • David Garce, GSBS Architects
  • Kendra Hyson, Neighborhood Design Center
  • Masako Ikegami, SWA
  • Kenneth Kokroko, SmithGroup
  • Gloria Lau, HNTB
  • Brian McCormack, McCormack
  • Gabriel Diaz Montemayor, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Briana Outlaw, Sasaki
  • Andrew Sargeant, Olin
  • Jessica Soleyn, AECOM
  • Ramiro Villalvazo, Consultant
  • Gaylan Williams, Dana Brown and Associates
  • Cheeneng Yang, City of St Paul

Application reviewers Perry Howard, FASLA, ASLA past president (2007-2008) and Lake Douglas, Ph.D., FASLA, ASLA vice president of education described the 2019 applicant pool as especially competitive this year, with the number of applications being amongst the highest since the inception of the program.


In 2013, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) convened its first Diversity Summit with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of why landscape architecture is failing to attract a more diverse profile. Each summit has brought together a group of experienced and emerging landscape architects who identify as African American or Latinx to develop strategies that address diversity issues in the field.

In 2017, the Diversity SuperSummit convened the largest group of attendees to date. Participants evaluated goals from previous summits, developed focus areas for four key diversity initiatives to guide ASLA’s work plan in the coming year, and discussed the future of the Diversity Summit. Focus items and initiatives will continue to be established and evaluated as ASLA plans future Summits.

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