Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

From the American Institute of Architects, Fort Worth Chapter:
 We share grief for the countless Black lives cut short by racism. We condemn the prejudiced and unjust treatment of Black and Brown members of our community and across the nation.
We acknowledge that design can be, and has been, used to perpetuate this differential treatment.
As architects, it is our duty to design a built environment where everyone in our community can prosper. Our mission at AIA Fort Worth is to promote the value of architecture to the public, and to unify the membership in service to and growth of the profession. We are recommitting to this mission by holding ourselves accountable to these values as we unify our membership to advocate for architects of all races and backgrounds.
As a chapter, and in the pursuit of true equality, we commit to taking action to improve Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion throughout the profession. We will listen to members of our community, and commit to recognizing unconscious bias, and to creating space for courageous conversations to happen. Building on successes and commitments to LiA and WiA, we will continue to invest in relevant programming such as continuing education sessions, tours, lectures, and exhibits that celebrate and encourage diversity in our profession.
As a start, we are committing to the following action items:

  • Create an EDI Task Force to identify initiatives and provide recommendations to the board, as we set goals and measure our Chapter’s progress in issues of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
  • Change the face of AIA by committing $5,000 for the following initiatives to assist young professionals in getting licensed, and taking active roles in the leadership of AIA:
    • New graduates can extend Associate AIA membership and be refunded local AIA FW membership dues for up to one year after their free membership expires.
    • We will provide ArchiPrep study materials to Associate members to assist them in becoming licensed Architects.
    • We will create a $2,000 EDI scholarship fund for reimbursement of ARE testing fees. Applicants will apply through AIA Fort Worth and the EDI Committee will recommend award recipients.
  • Create a culture of inclusivity:
    • Continue to actively recruit diverse leadership to reflect the North Texas communities that we serve.
    • Actively engage diverse membership through chapter events and programs.
    • Continue to celebrate the work of diverse chapter members through our “Get to Know Your Architect” series, LiA & WiA exhibitions, and lectures.
    • Establish a program to engage K-12 with Architecture programs and career planning targeting students in Fort Worth area public schools.
  • Engage relevant organizations:
    • Support and engage AIAS and NOMAS chapters at UT Arlington by continuing to provide financial support for conferences, and encouraging student participation in local events and committees.
    • Encourage our members to engage and support existing professional NOMA chapters in Texas.
    • Engage and support Design Justice initiatives and programming.
  • Leadership strategies:
    • Continue an annual equity, diversity, and inclusion evaluation of the board and committees.
    • Provide implicit bias training for our leadership at the annual board orientation.
    • Make EDI a priority of our Strategic Plan.
  • Open the dialogue. Listen.

We acknowledge that this is a starting point for us. We are here to listen to our members and our community so that our profession can help build a more just society.
 Additional information from AIA National and the Texas Society of Architects can be found here:

AIA National Board Statement on Systemic Racial Injustice
AIA National Racial Equity Initiative
AIA National Diversity and Inclusion Statement
TxA Black Lives Matter And So Do Our Actions