Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Examples Of Strategic Partnerships That Are Making An Impact During 2021 BHM & Beyond

Source: Digital Media Solutions

This year, Black History Month is hitting a little differently for a lot of people, and brands are responding accordingly. After a year of COVID-19, in which Black and Brown people were disproportionately impacted, and the racial justice uprisings in the summer of 2020, the expectation from consumers is that brands and retailers will take Black History Month more seriously. In lieu of one-off campaigns that can be perceived as performative, brands this year are aiming to create lasting impact by embracing partnerships and collaborations with Black creators, Black storytellers and nonprofits that amplify Black voices.

“As brands make plans to celebrate diverse communities through Black History Month and others, it’s important that they approach their campaigns with authenticity, empathy and cultural intelligence,” said Cassandra Blackburn, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Sprout Social. “Center your campaign on advancing the mission and purpose of the celebration by seizing the opportunity to honor the accomplishments of Black Americans.”

1. Fireclay Tile X Architects Foundation 

Fireclay Tile X Architects Foundation

Architects Foundation, a philanthropic organization which undertakes “philanthropic efforts that lay the foundation of architecture’s future, by attracting, inspiring and investing in new and diverse generations of architects who will create inclusive spaces and places of tomorrow” partnered with decor brand Fireclay Tile to promote more Black women in architecture. According to an Instagram post from Fireclay Tile, only “0.4% of all licensed architects in the U.S.” are Black women. Fireclay Tile teamed up with Architects Foundation to create a “Diversity Advancement Scholarship” that will be used specifically for Black women pursuing architecture.

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Curry Stone Foundation Announces Commitment to Diversity in Architecture through the Architects Foundation

WASHINGTON – The Curry Stone Foundation (CSF) has pledged $125,000 to the Architects Foundation’s 2021 Diversity Advancement Scholarship program, to support five scholars through 2025.

The multiyear scholarship will support students of an ethnically diverse background, with a preference for those attending one of the seven accredited architecture programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The CSF, whose mission is to empower the practice of community-driven social impact design, is co-founded by Clifford Curry, FAIA, and Dr. Delight Stone, RPA.

“We are extremely grateful to Cliff and Delight for their continued support of the Architects Foundation,” said Architects Foundation President R. Steven Lewis, FAIA. “The opportunity created by the CSF is a huge stride toward our goal of a more diverse and inclusive profession.”

The Architects Foundation annually runs an application process for Diversity Advancement scholars. Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are under review and will be announced in late spring of 2021.


CSF’s mission is to empower the practice of community-driven social impact design.  The Foundation supports groups and individuals using design to build healthier, more vital communities.  CSF actively advocates for the use of design as a tool for social change, especially in marginalized communities. In all cases, the Foundation encourages designers and communities to work in close collaboration.

Safdie Architects announces commitment to Diversity in Architecture through the Architects Foundation

WASHINGTON – Safdie Architects today announced their commitment to support the Architects Foundation’s Diversity Advancement Scholarship by funding a five-year student scholar entering or transferring into an architecture program in fall 2021.

The recipient will be supported throughout their scholarship by a mentor from Safdie Architects, as well as a paid internship at the firm following their 3rd, 4th or 5th year of school.  In addition to the $20,000 scholarship, Safdie Architects will select a current Diversity Advancement Scholar for a paid internship this summer.

“We are thrilled to join with the Architects Foundation in its mission to broaden diversity within the field of architecture. At a time when systemic racism persists and the rights of many are being violated, we recognize the need for our industry to be proactive and outward-focused,” said Christopher Mulvey, Assoc. AIA, Safdie Architects’ Managing Principal. “We are committed to creating more opportunities for Black, Indigenous and people of color, both within the firm and in the profession-at-large.”

Foundation President R. Steven Lewis, FAIA, expressed gratitude for the firm’s generosity. “The Architects Foundation is so pleased to work with Safdie Architects to create a more diverse profession,” Lewis said. “As the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Foundation is working to create a culture of philanthropy within the AIA. Let’s hope other firms follow this example.”

The Architects Foundation annually runs an application process for Diversity Advancement scholars. Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year are under review and will be announced in late spring of 2021.

About Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects is an architecture and urban design studio imbued with a spirit of idealism and innovation. The practice is research oriented and forward thinking, drawing upon a depth of experience to solve contemporary building challenges in imaginative and unexpected ways. Headquartered in Somerville, MA, with offices in Toronto, Jerusalem, Singapore and Shanghai to support ongoing projects, Safdie Architects is constantly engaged in the design of a diverse range of projects in terms of building type, scale and geographic location.

Architects Foundation announces recipients of 2020 Architect Registration Examination scholarships

Scholarships cover costs of the Architectural Registration Examination.

The Architects Foundation today announced recipients for three Architect Registration Examination® (ARE) scholarships.

Through the Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship, LFRT ARE Scholarship, and the 400 Forward ARE Scholarship, candidates for licensure receive funds covering costs of the Architect Registration Examination®.

Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship

The Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship recognizes the significant contributions of emerging professionals at early stages in their careers and helps defray the costs associated with the ARE. Each of the scholarship recipients will receive funds to cover all sections of the ARE, as well as a free subscription to ArchiPrep® and up to $500 worth of ARE 5.0 study materials. This year’s scholars include:

  • Mercedes Bellino, Assoc. AIA
  • Alexus Davis, Assoc. AIA
  • Joshua Foster, Assoc. AIA
  • Seher Hashmi, Assoc. AIA
  • Eric Harris, Assoc. AIA
  • Brian Johnson, Assoc. AIA
  • Megan Kapua Pimental, Assoc. AIA
  • Didier McQueen Porter, Assoc. AIA
  • Evan Stravers, Assoc. AIA
  • Lauren Tucker, Assoc. AIA

Complete details on the Jason Pettigrew scholarship program are available on the Architects Foundation website.

LFRT ARE Scholarship

The AIA Large Firm Roundtable presents two awards to Black and African American candidates for licensure. Awardees receive a grant covering the full cost of the Architectural Registration Examination, as well as study materials, access to Archiprep®, and Assoc. AIA membership. The 2020 LFRT ARE Scholarship winners are:

  • Jonathan Cartwright, Assoc. AIA
  • Rebekah Gaines Schranck, Assoc. AIA

Applications for next year’s LFRT ARE Scholarship will launch in the second quarter of 2021.

400 Forward ARE Scholarship

Two additional scholarships are also being donated this year by 2018 Pettigrew Scholarship recipient Tiffany Brown, Assoc. AIA. Brown’s scholarship will cover the cost of AREs for Black and African American females who did not already receive an award this year through her organization 400 FORWARD, which aims to support the next generation of licensed women architects. Recipients of Brown’s award, include:

  • Fallon Johnson, Assoc. AIA
  • Sharlita Olaleye, Assoc. AIA

“We very much appreciate the generosity of LFRT and 400 Forward,” said Architects Foundation Board Vice President and Jury Chair Bill Roschen, FAIA. “With their support, we can help move the needle toward licensure of Black and African American ARE candidates.”

Learn more about the Architects Foundation scholarships online.

Architects Foundation Announces 2021 Board of Directors

Two former NOMA presidents and two-time scholar among new board and leadership.

Washington, D.C. – The Architects Foundation, the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects, today announced two new members of its Board of Directors. Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, and Vaughn Lewis, Assoc. AIA, will serve on the board from 2021 to 2023.

Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMA, is the immediate past president (2019-2020) of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and a 2020 AIA Young Architects Award recipient. Dowdell is also the director of business development for HOK’s Chicago office.

Vaughn Lewis, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, is a past recipient of the 2019 Architects Foundation/McAslan Fellowship and the 2015 AIA/AF Diversity Scholarship. Lewis is also a junior designer at MBB Architects in New York.

“Kim and Vaughn join a board of leaders who are eager to support the next generation of architects through national programs and partnerships,” said 2021-2022 Architects Foundation President R. Steven Lewis, FAIA, NOMA. “We are enthusiastic that they will help the Foundation expand and solidify its community.”

A complete list of directors can be reviewed online.

Architects Foundation Names 2021 Richard Morris Hunt Prize Recipients

Laureates receive a 6-month or 5-week travel fellowship to France to conduct cutting-edge research in historic preservation.

WASHINGTON –  The Architects Foundation, the Amis du Richard Morris Hunt Prize and the French Heritage Society today announced the 2021 recipients of the Richard Morris Hunt Prize, a travel fellowship to France for architects pursuing cutting-edge research on emerging trends in historic preservation.

Jonathan Bell, AIA, of Providence, R.I. will receive a $20,000 travel fellowship to carry out research over six months on resources for stabilizing abandoned buildings which are still outside of traditional heritage protections.

Gregoire Holeyman, AIA, of Washington, DC will receive a $5,000 award to research historic structures in France that have been successfully preserved and converted into museums.

The winners were selected from a group of four finalists, whose topics were vetted by a group of former American laureates.

“The jury had a very difficult decision to make, as all of the proposed topics were well-conceived, timely, and relevant,” said James Walbridge, AIA, Architects Foundation President and co-chair of the jury.

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize (RMHP) has been fostering and supporting cross-cultural professional exchange between France and the United States since 1990. U.S. design professionals study in France, and French design professionals study in the U.S. during alternating years.

Due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, travel is deferred until restrictions have been lifted. The 2020 laureates, who will travel to the United States from France, are also waiting to travel.

Complete details on the Richard Morris Hunt Prize program are available on the Architects Foundation website. Learn more about how to support this important work in sustainability and preservation here.

About the Architects Foundation

As the philanthropic partner of The American Institute of Architects, the Architects Foundation attracts, inspires, and invests in a next-generation design community through scholarships and exhibitions. The Architects Foundation owns the historic Octagon building in the nation’s capital, activating the space to demonstrate the value architects and architecture bring to culture.

About the Amis du Richard Morris Hunt Prize

In 2016, Michèle le Menestrel Ullrich, founder of the Richard Morris Hunt Prize, founded the Amis du Richard Morris Hunt Prize, a French nonprofit organization. The association was created to provide support to the laureates, organize events and increase awareness of the RMHP.

About the French Heritage Society

French Heritage Society is an American nonprofit organization with ten chapters in the U.S. and one in France. Its central mission is to ensure that the treasures of our shared French architectural and cultural heritage survive in order to inspire future generations. Over the past 38 years, FHS has given more than 600 restoration grants to properties throughout France and in the U.S. and selected and supported over 500 students from prestigious universities who have crossed the Atlantic for internships at esteemed institutions.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.


David Adjaye, Forensic Architecture and Daniel Libeskind donate works to support black women in architecture school

David Adjaye‘s gold sketch of multifaith complex The Abrahamic Family House and Mark Foster Gage‘s satirical plan for a Trump presidential library are among works for sale in an auction fundraising to support black women in architecture school.

Organised by architectural initiative ARCH, the auction launches today and will run for one week to raise funds for a scholarship programme for black women.

“To tackle systemic racism in the field of architecture and design, we need to make studying these subjects more accessible to aspiring black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) architects, who have historically been underrepresented and under-supported,” said ARCH, which stands for Architecture for Change.

Read more on Dezeen >

The 2021-2022 Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship

We’re incredibly proud to offer this scholarship as a way to honor Sho-Ping’s legacy and mentor future architects. Sho-Ping was a wonderful mentor and the impact of her work at our firm and in the profession is still felt today. I’m always inspired by the applicants and am thrilled we’re able to offer this opportunity.


Architect’s anonymous donation inspires

Giving Tuesday campaign

Despite some gains, ethnically diverse individuals are still significantly underrepresented in architecture. Expanding the profession’s outreach and support to the next generation is one of the most urgent and important steps we can take to provide underrepresented students and communities the opportunities they deserve to develop their talents.

Architects are stepping up to make a difference – including a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous. A FAIA Emeritus, this benefactor worked with the Architects Foundation earlier this year to identify the best way to make an impact. Based on that research, he is now donating $15,000 to each of five university programs.

And his story is just as inspiring as his financial contribution.

Here is his message to AIA members, in his own words:

Early this year, when I was 91 years old, one of my best friends, also 91, died and left me a young fortune. Really! For the first time in my life I was in a position to do something that might make the world a better place.  Maybe not the world, but at least make the profession of architecture a notch more accessible for high school architectural aspirants and freshman African American architectural students.  

Architectural college graduates know that with their degree also comes a key to a better quality of life for their families and for themselves.  And yet in the last 70 years, the percentage of African Americans entering architectural colleges has risen from less than 1% to only 5%. Because BLACK LIVES DO MATTER, I decided to find the individuals who are in the best position to reverse these percentages and take appropriate actions.

My first step was to request help from the national AIA office in locating an individual who was well-informed regarding current architectural colleges. AIA fortunately pointed me to the Architects Foundation. Together, we decided no one would be better informed on the needs of these incoming students than the deans of the architectural colleges. After some basic research, we arbitrarily selected five notable colleges from across the country.  After speaking by phone to each dean individually they were asked these same three questions:

1. In the recent past, what has your college done to promote diversity for African Americans on campus?

2. Currently, what are you doing to advance African American diversity on campus?

3. If the college gave you, personally, a financial grant to advance diversity for high school architectural aspirants and freshman African American architectural students, how would you utilize the grant?

The deans’ answers to these questions provided a wealth of information on ways to assist African American students as they join the architectural profession.

Our greatest hope is that other professions will see the opportunities made available by our profession and follow our lead!

The Architects Foundation was grateful to facilitate this emeritus member’s kind contribution.

It’s exactly the kind of informed, targeted support AIA is working to expand as we enhance our efforts to help students overcome barriers to education and advancement.

“This emeritus member demonstrates the true meaning of the term ‘citizen architect,’ and I’d like to express AIA’s gratitude on behalf our members,” said AIA 2020 President Jane Frederick, FAIA. “His thoughtful involvement and generosity as a retired member show that, no matter where architects are in our careers, we can make a difference.”

“The Architects Foundation has been awarding the Diversity Advancement Scholarship since 1970, but there is still much work to do,” said Architects Foundation President James Walbridge, AIA. “We were happy to help this emeritus member put his personal plan into action. Our approach is just one of many tools needed to make a difference.”

Efforts this year include surveying deans at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to identify needs; distributing $12,000 each to seven NAAB-accredited programs housed at HBCUs; and launching a campaign through the Architects Foundation to support the Diversity Advancement Scholarship. A multiyear award that supports ethnically diverse undergraduates studying architecture with up to $20,000, the Diversity Advancement Scholarship is a critical tool.

AIA members have contributed $156,283 so far this year, and through our Giving Tuesday campaign, the Architects Foundation is inviting 20,000 AIA members to donate $20 or more in 2020.

Not all of us have the ability to match the anonymous supporter’s $75,000 donation. But by giving what we can, we can make a difference – for the next generation of deserving students, and for the future of the architecture profession.

Build a brighter future for architects by donating here.