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AIA|LA Virtual Town Hall #11: Justice, Equity, and Architecture

July 29, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PDT

AIA|LA Town Hall #11: Justice, Equity, and Architecture

moderated by Greg Verabian, AIAPresident, AIA Los Angeles & Design Director, Principal, HKS


Renée Byng YanceyManaging Director, Workforce Strategy and EDI Development, The American Institute of Architects

Brenda ShockleyDeputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity & Chief Equity Officer, City of Los Angeles

Deputy Mayor Shockley will be introduced by her friend, R. Steven Lewis, FAIA, NOMAC.

This virtual town hall will serve as a forum to learn more about the City of Los Angeles’ efforts t0 promote greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) for all Angelenos, as well as, to hear more about the specific JEDI initiatives that AIA National is advancing on behalf of the architecture profession.


Brenda ShockleyDeputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity & Chief Equity Officer, City of Los Angeles

Deputy Mayor Brenda Shockley was appointed as the Deputy Mayor of Economic Opportunity for the City of Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti in July, 2016. In addition, she was appointed Chief Equity Officer in June, 2020. The mission of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity is the prevention of homelessness and poverty with compassion and inclusion, through education, training, and employment at a livable wage. The following policy and programmatic areas are under Deputy Mayor Shockley’s purview: racial equity, workforce development, housing and community development, and several placed-based strategies, including two Federal Promise Zone designations.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Deputy Mayor Shockley served as the President of Community Build for over 24 years. The mission of Community Build, which was incorporated in 1992 in response to the Los Angeles civil unrest, is to revitalize South Los Angeles through human investment and commercial and economic development. During her tenure there, she oversaw the development of 16,000 square feet of commercial space in Leimert Park which serves as a center for the African American community, offering a coffee house, 99-seat theater, office space, and a park. Deputy Mayor Shockley’s work to revitalize communities in South L.A. has led to more than $100 million of investment in education, employment and training programs for young people.

Before joining Community Build, Deputy Mayor Shockley was a practicing attorney and the President of the Drew Economic Development Corporation.

Renée Byng YanceyManaging Director, Workforce Strategy and EDI Development, The American Institute of Architects

Renée joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2019 and serves as Managing Director of Workforce Strategy and EDI Development.  Her areas of focus include team strategy, the development of leadership programs, volunteer management, development of publications and content, research, and management of key strategic relationships. Renée leads a team of talented professionals spanning K-12, higher education, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Women’s Leadership programming and the Center for Emerging Professionals. She and her team are dedicated to working with members to increase inclusive practices, expanding career pathways into the profession of architecture, positive workplace culture and partnering with colleagues throughout the AIA working at the intersections of equitable communities and environmental stewardship.  She is deeply committed to achieving positive social change.

Before joining the AIA, Renée was Chief Operating Officer of Equal Measure—a professional services firm. In that role she led cradle to career client engagements and oversaw a team of senior leaders and external consultants. Clients included the nation’s largest foundations and national nonprofit organizations working on large-scale system change and practices to make communities stronger, healthier, just, equitable, and inclusive. In her role with Equal Measure, she also held a joint appointment with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation serving as National Program Director for New Connections—a professional development program for underrepresented faculty and researchers in health and public health. Additional representative clients include The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Philanthropy Network and RISE for Boys and Men of Color, a $12M nationwide funder collaborative.

A career dedicated to building superior-performing organizations, and creating strong, inclusive, and sustainable leadership pipelines, Renée has held leadership posts with the Urban League of Philadelphia and executive roles in higher education and in philanthropy.  She is the author of quantitative and qualitative research studies, and articles. Her experiences include collaborating with Boards, communities and families moving into economic success through cross-sectoral partnerships. 

Renée serves on the Board of Trustees of Peirce College, a private nonprofit college located in Philadelphia.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Eastern University and earned a Master of Science degree from Drexel University.  She also completed a certificate at Harvard University’s Institute for Education Management.



July 29, 2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PDT
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