Equity by Design Committee

AIASF's Equity by Design initiative is a call to action to realize the goal of equitable practice for everyone, advance the profession and communicate the value of architecture to society. Our mission is to understand the pinch points of career progression and promote the strategic execution of best practices in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of our profession's best talent at every level of architectural practice.


Lilian Asperin, AIA

Julia Mandell, Assoc. AIA

Rosa Sheng, FAIA
Past Chair

#EQxD2020: Practice, Process and Paradigms for the J.E.D.I. Agenda Series

Our society is at a critical inflection point and choices and actions we make today will determine our collective future. This is contextualized by a historic confluence of catastrophic events – a global pandemic, severe economic disruption, racial violence causing civil unrest, and environmental peril caused by climate change. This perfect storm exposes the intersectional impacts of a legacy of systems of societal injustice that have perpetuated inequities for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and others with at-risk identities. This is deeply rooted in systems of injustice that have existed within our society since the founding of our country.

The resulting shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time risking peril or the potential to overcome the adversity surrounding us. Real and necessary progress towards Justice in our world will only be achieved when we are willing to do the work to expose and dismantle the intricate web of racist and unjust policies and practices that have resulted in multigenerational and harmful outcomes for many. Given the challenging and complex conditions in which we find ourselves today, Equity by Design has committed to adapting from our originally planned symposium program towards a broader agenda.

AIASF Equity by Design will be hosting a series of workshops and teach-ins that will focus on collecting and evaluating an intentional intersection of research, writings and multi-media in support of developing a critical discourse to fuel strategic actions that result in sustained improvements in the civic realm. The outcome of these workshops will be a roadmap of new practices and policy amendments in activism and advocacy that dismantle systems of oppression and advance progress towards an Anti-racist paradigm in the built environment.

Join us. Our collective exploration will have a deep focus on how Just and Equitable policies and frameworks drive Diversity and Inclusive opportunities and practices (J.E.D.I.). At the core, we will prioritize Justice, creating a common thread to expand our intersectional mindset.


Series Schedule

Kick-Off Session

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 1:30-3:00pm PST

(use registration at this session to access the “Full Series+” and “Bundle of First 3” Sessions tickets)

Session 1: J.E.D.I. and Society/Economics/Social Mobility

Friday, October 23, 2020, 2:00-3:30pm PST

Session 2: J.E.D.I. and Health

Friday, November 20, 2020, 11am-12:30pm PST

Session 3: J.E.D.I. and Environment

Friday, December 11, 2020, 11am-12:30pm PST

use registration at this session to access the “Bundle of Final 3 Sessions” tickets

Session 4: J.E.D.I. and Practice

Friday, January 22, 2021, 11am-12:30pm PST

Closing Session: Capstone and Call to Action

Friday, February 26, 2021, 11am-12:30pm PST


#EQxD2020 - Architect Registration Examination (ARE) Challenge Scholarship Program

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the #EQxD2020 ARE Challenge Scholarship Program! Please join us in congratulating each of the 8 recipients on their licensure journey and future advocacy for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

JEDIagenda - Challenge Scholarship Winners

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 does 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 that 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.


Series Sponsors

Silver Level

Sherwin Williams

Titanium Level

SMARTci Systems

Bronze Level

Cameron Macallister Group
WRNS Studio

Contact Us

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