PHOTO: Natalie Dalton

To Advance the AIA’s Core Value of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, AIA|LA Releases: EDI: Equity; Diversity; Inclusivity Best Practices Guide 2018
Roadmap to inclusivity provides the Chapter and Los Angeles-based firms with actionable steps that support design practitioners and better serves Greater Los Angeles.


The verbiage is simple, but clear: “We are committed to broadening equity, diversity, and inclusion to create a stronger profession.” That is the American Institute of Architects’ position on equity, diversity, and inclusion. The implementation of this organizational core value, not only generates equitable opportunities for individuals and colleagues, but expands the field’s capabilities to better serve clients and building users.
Who are those clients, communities, and building users?

In the Los Angeles region, a full forty-nine percent of the region’s population are defined as Hispanic by the 2016 census, twenty-nine percent are white, eleven percent are of Asian descent and nine percent of residents are black. Meaning, for the latter two groups—close to one in ten residents of the area, while people of Hispanic descent comprise nearly half our population.

“Inclusive work places are fundamental to human dignity, which helps lead to thriving practices. In Los Angeles, the user base of our buildings is so diverse, having a diverse team helps us respond better to the users needs. EDI directly influences our capabilities to serve communities,” notes AIA|LA President Tania Van Herle, AIA.

In response to requests from members in 2017 to advance this National AIA Core Value, the AIA|LA has developed and published EDI: Equity; Diversity; Inclusivity Best Practices Guide. The 2018 guide articulates four strategies to increase opportunities for underrepresented populations in the architectural profession.

Part-roadmap, part-toolkit, the guide is composed of:

     + Institutional goals.
     + Chapter commitments that further diversity.
     + Hiring Practices and Steps that facilitate EDI.
     + Insight into and Mitigation Measures
        for Unintentional Bias.

(To access the EDI: Equity; Diversity; Inclusivity Best Practices Guide 2018, click here.  Or, to read the press release, click here.)

Like the language used by the American Institute of Architects National to delineate EDI as an organizational value, the document articulates clear and simple tactics that advance change for individuals and our profession. It is issued as a single page, tri-panel that individuals and firm leaders may easily reference.

“Though this is a complex issue, our goals were to deliver actionable items that help to achieve EDI and to encourage implementation by making them easily accessible to individuals and firm leaders,” noted AIA|LA Executive Director Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA|LA.

To produce the Best Practices 2018 Guide, Caccavale worked under the direction of both the 2017 and 2018 AIA|LA Board of Directors. Leaders of Los Angeles firms already advancing EDI initiatives were consulted. Methods cited in existing research and manuals also provided foundational ideas. They include:

+ The American Institute of Architects EDI Commission
Executive Summary (January 25, 2017)
+ University of Washington – Best Practices for Faculty Searches
+ California Community Colleges’ Equal Employment Opportunity Handbook
+ IIDA Design & Diversity Handbook
+ Research and documents of other AIA Chapters
and those of AIA|LA firms

To access the EDI: Equity; Diversity; Inclusivity Best Practices Guide 2018, visit:

The Chapter will also provide printed copies at AIA|LA conferences, award program ceremonies and events.