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  • The JE:DI Agenda in Action #4 – With Liberation and Justice for All

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    The JE:DI Agenda in Action #4 – With Liberation and Justice for All

    Friday, July 15, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT

    Please join us on Friday, July 15, 2022 (12-2pm PST) for our fourth and final virtual session – The JE:DI Agenda in Action: With Liberation and Justice for All. In this session, we will explore Design Justice strategies in the context of Urban Planning, Policy, and Development in shaping a future that centers practices of decolonization, anti-racist/anti-harm, and liberation from systems that limit our ability to thrive. For the first part of the workshop, we will convene notable Design Justice leaders in development and city government in the Bay Area. They will share a broad range of practice, process, and frameworks that support liberation and just outcomes in the built environment. In sharing examples of how they manifested their goals into sustained actions and broader impact, Kyle Rawlins, John Bauters, and Alyssa Victory will inspire us to reflect and take action in meaningful ways.

    This opening segment will be followed by a moderated panel discussion with these trailblazers to gather input on how we can be more effective in serving our communities and transform our profession in the process. In the second part of the workshop, we will revisit the Frameworks for Action (introduced in the 12/3 session) to discuss current work, identify barriers to advancing JEDI goals and to ideate and assess strategies for promoting persistence and success.

    Session Background and Learning Prompts:

    Our society is at a critical inflection point. The choices and actions we take today will determine our collective future. This is contextualized by a historic confluence of catastrophic events creating great disruption and uncertainty – a global pandemic disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable, long-term economic disruption, racist violence, civil unrest, and environmental peril caused by climate change. This perfect storm exposes the intersectional impacts of systemic injustice in socio-economic, environmental, and health policies within the urban planning process. The legacy of which continues to perpetuate inequities for historically disenfranchised communities of color, LGBTQIA+, and other identities who are disproportionately at-risk.  

    With the newly adopted requirements for the California State General Plan Updates, the City and community members of each California city stand at the precipice of a unique opportunity in history to make a significant impact in civic policy, Elements, Environmental Justice, and Racial Equity components that grounded in truth-telling, de-colonization and are co-created to authentically serve every community member (prioritizing the most vulnerable) in a meaningful way.

    We recognized that this effort requires a highly strategic, innovative, and collaborative ideas and practices for implementation that are deeply aligned core values and guiding principles for each City’s General Plan Update: Racial Equity and Environmental Justice, Transparency, Relevance and Clarity, Focused Planning Process that is Flexible and Adaptable, Strategic and Long-Range Thought Leadership, Interdisciplinary Coordination, and a place-based approach prioritizing strong partnerships with Community Based Organizations (CBO’s).  Transit-oriented development, equitable/affordable/mixed-income housing incentives and strategies, and equitable access to urban resources.

    AIA member attendees of this event will receive 2 AIA HSW learning units.


    About the Series | About the Speakers | ARE Challenge Scholarship | Sponsors | Registration


    Learning Objectives

    After attending this program, participants will be able to:

    1. Identify key components and frameworks in the work of panelists representing Civic Leaders, Design Justice driven Developers (ie.- past experience and case studies that show policies and practices implemented into urban design and development) that is Design Justice driven.
    2. Comprehend new vocabulary and meaning (ie., liberation, decolonization and sovereignty) as these related to designing projects for historically underserved communities and assess impacts for a range of solutions.
    3. Apply Civic scale examples of Design Justice to the EQxD Frameworks for Action to identify and assess the potential impact of systems interventions designed to promote just and equitable design outcomes for underserved communities.
    4. Commit to implementing one of these identified civic/urban Design Justice strategies with the support of fellow members of Equity by Design’s Community of Practice.

    AIA member attendees of this event will receive 2 AIA HSW learning units.


    About the Series

    Last year in the wake of multiple pandemics impacting societal and environmental challenges, we came together to grapple with the resultant shifts and compounding disruptions that have challenged how we live, work and thrive. At this inflection point, we quickly pivoted and expanded our platform to respond to the rapidly changing needs of our profession and community members. #EQxD2020 Series, The JE:DI. Agenda introduced a Justice– and Equity-driven approach to drive Diverse representation and Inclusive results at the contextual intersections of Social/Economic, Health, Environment, and Practice.

    This year we will continue the next chapter with The JE:DI. Agenda in Action with an augmented series of panels and workshops that will build on the outcomes of last year’s critical discourse and frameworks. We will begin with a summary of what we learned in 2020 and build upon it with today’s evolving challenges with an overview of JE:DI frameworks for solving these challenges proposed to date across multiple organizations. Together, we will begin to co-create an intersectional “Roadmap for Action” designed to guide practitioners and firm leaders in their commitments to initiating and sustaining systemic change by dismantling systems of harm and oppression. We will propose a new paradigm for designing a just future in which the built environment cultivates dignity, belonging, agency and mutualism.


    About the Speakers

    Allyssa Victory, Esq., 2022 Candidate for Mayor, City of Oakland

    Allyssa (born Villanueva) was raised in North Oakland and has since lived in every district of Oakland and even overcame homelessness. Allyssa has devoted her entire career to advocacy on behalf of the public’s interest and underserved communities starting with clothing and food distribution with her West Oakland church and as a social justice student organizer with Oakland’s Youth Together. Allyssa is a civil rights leader, educator, and licensed attorney serving across the Bay Area and state of California. Allyssa holds a B.A. with honors in Ethnic Studies and minor in Black Studies as well as J.D. concentrated in Government Law. Allyssa currently practices in policing and labor law and is an elected ADEM Delegate to the CA Democratic Party for Assembly District 18. Allyssa is an author on the history of racial terrorism in the U.S. and currently teaches Black Studies inside San Quentin state prison. Allyssa is a candidate for Oakland Mayor in the November 8 general election.


    Kyle Rawlins, BIG Oakland

    Kyle is a co-founder of BIG Oakland, an incubator/coworking space dedicated to the architecture/engineering/construction/real estate industry. In 2018, the San Francisco Business Times included BIG in its Upstart 50 business creators of the Bay Area. He is also a co-founder of Oakland-based Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS), a public interest architecture and real estate development firm focused on addressing the root causes of mass incarceration. DJDS is a winner of the ArtPlace America 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund. Kyle has been active in analyzing, financing, design, development, construction, and management of real estate in North and South America for more than 20 years.

    Before his entrepreneurial ventures, Kyle held senior positions with Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI).  As Senior Investment Associate of Latin American Merchant Banking, he was responsible for the management and development of PREI’s portfolio companies within Latin America, capital market-based product development, and the integration of PREI’s regional offices with its NJ headquarters. Subsequently, as Director of Corporate Development for its Brazil-based portfolio company, Atlântica Residencial, he took on deal sourcing, product development, feasibility studies, financing, marketing, and day-to-day oversight of the construction of 4,000 residential units in Brazil.

    Kyle is an Echoing Green Fellow – 2016 Black Male Achievement Cohort. Kyle holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia, an MBA from the Harvard Business School. In 2020, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley where he teaches equitable and inclusive development for the Master of Real Estate Development + Design program.


    John Bauters, Mayor of Emeryville, CA / State Director at Alliance for Safety and Justice

    John is the Mayor of Emeryville, California. He serves as the Chair of both the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, where he has been an outspoken and progressive voice on sustainable land use and active transportation policies that yield equitable, people-oriented communities. 

    Professionally, John has over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit professional, working as a legal aid attorney for people experiencing homelessness, an eviction defense trial attorney, and more recently as a policy director on trauma-informed and community-based health services as an alternative to incarceration. 

    An animal lover, cyclist, and long-distance hiker, John is an all-around outdoors enthusiast and loves helping other people discover the joy of active transportation as a lifestyle.


    Architect Registration Examination (ARE) Challenge Scholarship Program

    We are pleased to announce the recipients of the #EQxD2022 ARE Challenge Scholarship Program! Please join us in congratulating each of the 9 recipients on their licensure journey and future advocacy for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

    headshots of young professionals with a white background and black text
    The Jury consisted of Representatives from our generous scholarship sponsors and AIA SF Committee partners, AIASF Mentorship, and the ARE PACT. The selection was based on a process that excluded the names of applicants and focused solely on the applicants’ responses to 3 question prompts.

    • How do your cultural background and lived experience influence and contribute to addressing the current challenges of inequities and injustice in the built environment?
    • What is the value of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the design of the built environment?
    • Fast forward 10-15 years. Describe how you would leverage this opportunity and “pay it forward” to future generations of architects.

    The ARE Challenge Scholarship Program recognizes the effort and expense of the architectural licensing process as a barrier to achieving this professional milestone and that it disproportionately affects candidates of historically underrepresented identities in the profession. In light of the extremely challenging and economically unstable conditions that we are collectively facing, AIASF Equity by Design has established financial assistance scholarships for licensure candidates with a focus on individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds in architecture who are eligible to take the ARE exams.

    Recipients of the #EQxD2020 ARE Challenge Scholarship will be reimbursed for three (3) ARE Exams (Value $705 per recipient), regardless of pass or fail status.

    Scholarship Partners
    AIASF Architecture Licensing Committee | AIASF Mentorship Committee | AIASF Equity by Design Committee


    Program Sponsors

    Silver Level

    Steel Level

    Bronze Level

    Copper Level

    Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects      Sherwin Williams Coil Coatings
    Tipping Structural Engineers      Walker Warner Architects


    Need-Based Complimentary Tickets

    This program is welcoming and supportive of those interested in attending that are currently experiencing economic uncertainty. We will ensure that there are no barriers to access for this program.

    In recognition of the compounded challenges of this time, AIASF Equity by Design will be providing need-based complimentary series tickets for those challenged with financial hardship. If you are a student, emerging professional, or practitioner who is currently unemployed or under-employed, please email info@aiasf.org to request complimentary registration for the session.


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    Friday, July 15, 2022
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm PDT
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    AIA San Francisco
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