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6/29/21, 6:30pm - 8pm

*This event is occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program.*

As conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion have increased, the architecture community has been called upon to reflect on its own challenges in terms of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. However, reflection quickly raises questions surrounding accountability and where to place institutional blame.

Academia is often noted as the root of diversity and inclusion issues for its lack of representation. The profession is blamed for perpetuating inequitable practices as well as racial and gender gaps. Yet both academia and the profession are dependent on each other to thrive and survive. Their symbiotic relationship has the potential to benefit the pipeline—from early childhood through to leadership roles.

This two-part roundtable will serve as a space where individuals at different stages of their architectural studies and careers can reflect on the root causes of diversity and inclusion issues in architecture. Through dialogues between students, academics, and emerging and experienced professionals, we can generate discussion on the ways that each stage contributes to flaws in the industry, as well as how we can proactively combat them together.

How can we engage and encourage the pipeline in architecture for underrepresented groups, specifically the BIPOC community? How does academia play a role? How does the profession perpetuate it? By reflecting on this symbiotic relationship, we hope we can begin to reveal several ways to stimulate the pipeline.

Day 1 – Focus on Education (June 24, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
Education is our first form of exposure to architecture—it defines what we learn, who we learn about, and who we learn it from. Architectural pedagogy is carried with us into the profession, ultimately helping to shape it. As a result, diversity and inclusion issues present within academia can become detrimental to not only our view of architecture but also how we practice it in the future. What changes can those in academia make that will have an effect on the future of architecture practice? How can we stimulate the pipeline and fight for inclusiveness within architectural pedagogy?

Day 2 – Focus on Practice (June 29, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
New graduates enter an architecture field that often mimics the non-inclusive educational world they have just exited. While support from initiatives such as AIA’s Equitable Guides of Practice and bias training can help combat inequitable practice, proactive actions must follow and be sustained. Architectural practice serves as the primary example of what should be included in architectural pedagogy. What changes in the profession can be implemented to create a sustainable equitable environment within the industry, and thus academia?

Day 2 Speakers:
Rajas Karnik, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, President and Co-founder of Build Out Alliance; Associate, FXCollaborative
Tenetia Mack, NOMA, WELL AP, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, COOKFOX Architects
Nandini Bagchee, Associate Professor and Director of the MSArch Program, Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, CUNY, RA; Principal, Bagchee Architects
Ejiro Akamune, NOMAS, AIAS

Brunie Pierre, NOMA

About the Speakers:

Brunie Pierre is a Haitian-American architect in training and recent 2020 graduate from NJIT. She is currently working for The City of Jersey City as an architectural assistant aiding in the development of parks and recreation.

Rajas Karnik, AIA, LEED AP, NOMA, is the President and Co-founder of Build Out Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community within the building design and construction industry. He is a registered architect and Associate at FXCollaborative, and is currently working on 1 Willoughby Square—a commercial building in Downtown Brooklyn that will serve as the future home of FXCollaborative. Rajas is also one of the founders and co-chair of FXOne, FXCollaborative’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, and is actively involved in the firm’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts.

Tenetia Mack, NOMA, WELL AP, is Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at COOKFOX Architects. She is responsible for coordinating and guiding efforts to define, understand, assess, foster and cultivate diversity, equity, justice and inclusion at the firm.

Organized by
AIANY Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Primaverarch
6/29/21, 6:30pm - 8pm
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