Ernest Banks

Ernest Banks

Scholar since

Scholarship received
2022 AIA Large Firm Roundtable ARE Scholarship

Current occupation
Polk Stanley Wilcox


University of Arkansas

Little Rock, AR

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Ernest admired the arts/design and knew he wanted to be an architect since experimenting with CAD when he was young. Unfortunately, there were very few black architects in his state that he could look up to, but he knew he wanted to see something change in the architecture community of Arkansas. While at the Fay Jones School of Architecture, Ernest worked with his NOMA Chapter to raise awareness about the issues of inclusion, opportunity, and diversity within the larger architecture community. NOMA acted as a launchpad for his desire to return to his hometown and get involved with local government and architecture advocacy. This led to him searching for a way to get students interested in becoming architects.

Currently, Ernest is set to launch his non-profit scholarship program called RISE (Reinvest In Students Everywhere), whose goal is to make a difference in the future of architecture by educating and encouraging students, from underserved areas of Arkansas, to pursue a career in design. Ernest wanted students to know you can have a stake in your communities by helping design them. He hopes to make an impact on the development of Arkansas in the years to come.