Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at AIA|DC


A Call to Action:

We need to evolve within ourselves, within our firms, within our chapter, within our profession, and within society. To do that, we need to listen. We need to ask for help and ask how we can help.

Then, we need to act. Because words are only worth the action that results. We also need to understand that change will not happen overnight, or in a few weeks or months. It will take years. We need to commit to a sustained focus on these issues until the work is done.

This call to action is from a letter to the membership from Robert L. Holzbach, AIA, President of AIA|DC. Read the whole letter here


Our Forum Our Impact Toolkit
The Equity Committee by WIELD, LA.IDEA, and DC NOMA has created a series of discussions, titled “Our Forum, Our Impact.”  The series aims to tackle tough conversations about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion issues affecting our profession. 

The first webinar (not recorded) centered around racial justice, systemic racism, individual contributions, and how those factors affect the design profession. The session introduced these topics through guided discussion and provided participants with action items to build belonging and a more equitable and inclusive profession.

This toolkit is based on the first session in the series, focusing on racial justice.  The video recording is meant to be watched with a group. Each section notes pauses for group reflection, polls, and breakout room discussions. This exercise should take about an hour and thirty minutes to complete, inclusive of discussion time.

The video framework is divided into 2 parts:
Part 1:

  • Systemic racism and its impact on BIPOCs in the United States is defined.
  • Discuss how individuals and their actions contribute to systemic racism through the lens of the murder of George Floyd. (Due to the graphic nature of the video, it will not be shown)  
  • Discussion on how to become an anti-racist and how to assess where each of us is currently located on the journey to becoming an anti-racist. 
  • Pause for a breakout discussion with your group to talk about your thoughts on systemic racism and anti-racism as a group.

 Part 2:

  • Focus on how we can improve the industry and its effects on systemic racism. 
  • Video looks at how both professional practice and design practice have a hand in this and how we can address racial justice in the profession as a whole. 
  • Ends but a final breakout session to allow discussion with the group on how you can make a change in your firms, institutions, and organizations. 

Sources Utilized:

Recorded Past Events:
AIA|DC Board on Social Justice Challenges - Answers to Audience Questions
AIA|DC Board on Social Justice Action
AIA|DC Board on Equitable and Safe Practice
Our Forum Our Impact
Part One: A Two-Part Conversation on Equity with Fellows & Emerging Architects
Part Two: A Two-Part Conversation on Equity with Fellows & Emerging Architects