A Joint Statement from the AIALA and the SoCal NOMA Boards of Directors on the SoCal NOMA Diversity Equity and Inclusivity Challenge
A core value of the American Institute of Los Angeles Chapter is to increase diversity in our profession. This is not only a just opportunity for people of color who seek to practice in the same field so many of us are passionate about, it also benefits firms and clients. Projects improve and better serve communities and clients through consideration of diverse insights and experiences. To this end, over the last several years, the AIALA has sought to expand inclusion through our strategic planning, Chapter actions, tools such as the publication of EDI guidelines, and hosting events such as the Encompass conference.
Today, through the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCal NOMA), the profession has a new, significant, and potent tool to expand inclusion: the SoCal NOMA Diversity Equity and Inclusivity Challenge.
The SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge is a ten-point plan that delivers a pathway to diversity for Los Angeles firms through touchpoints including: mentorship, recruitment and promotion, and pro bono services to underserved communities. The results of its clear implementable actions will be tracked, in the same way as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Challenge, to determine areas where improvement continues to be needed and to identify successes in reaching these critical goals.
Only 2% of the architecture industry is composed of Black architects, significantly below the population of Black residents in the communities we work for. Through adherence to the SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge, we hope to more accurately represent the populations of the region we serve, more diligently address client needs, and provide equal opportunity to enter and flourish in the field that many of us enjoy.
In this statement, the Board of Directors of AIALA and SoCal NOMA join together to call on our colleagues in Los Angeles-based firms to consider a commitment to the SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge.
We invite you to visit SoCal NOMA’s website, www.socalnoma.org and download the Challenge–become a signatory; use the SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge as your firm’s roadmap to meaningful change.
We look forward to working together to transform the diversity of firms and the practice of architecture in a holistic, firm-wide, and data-driven manner.
On behalf of the Board of the AIA|Los Angeles,
Greg Verabian, AIA
President, AIALA Los Angeles
On behalf of the Board of SoCal NOMA,
Lance Collins, AIA, SoCal NOMA
President, SoCal NOMA