The mission of the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (SoCal NOMA) is to “to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development, and educational excellence.” To that end, our Chapter is leading the charge for increasing the diversity of the local architecture education community and building a more inclusive environment for African Americans and underrepresented people of color to learn and flourish. Today, architecture education is very Eurocentric, based on an outdated one-sided view of expression. It is not reflective of the vast diversity we see in the world around us. A change in the system used in the education of architecture is required. In order to realize the results that we desire we need your help.
We are launching the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Challenge for Colleges & Universities as an initiative for institutions teaching architecture to transform the culture, curriculum, and student body in a way that is holistic, school-wide, and data-driven. By prioritizing metrics, accountability, and actionable responses, participating colleges and universities can work toward creating an environment that supports racial justice, social responsibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Your engagement will amplify SoCal NOMA’s resolve to transform the architecture education system, one that is designed to foster more representation and equity for African America and underrepresented people of color.
In committing to the challenge, participating schools acknowledge their commitment to providing the following information, on an annual basis, for the purposes of gathering and collecting data and statistics that may be used by our organization as well as partner organizations to develop programs and policies on diversity, equity, and inclusion going forward.
The DEI Challenge consists of sixteen actions that schools can undertake. Each action will have a scoring threshold with a total of 185 potential points to be achieved across all measures. Participating schools must score a minimum of 140 points each year to be recognized as a SoCal NOMA “DEI Challenge C+U Ally” on the chapter website, social media, events, and other public forums. SoCal NOMA will provide support and resources to all Challenge participants to help them implement each of the DEI action items.
All participating institutions in the SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge will be required to self-report their results at the end of each calendar year. Participating schools will be scored based on the documentation provided. The results will be published on the SoCal NOMA Chapter website. Upon initial commitment, each school will be assigned a DEI Coordinator from SoCal NOMA to conduct an “intake” interview and to collect baseline documentation. Resources for implementing each action item will be available.
Your acceptance of this challenge will illustrate your commitment to fighting against racism and racial inequality within institutions that teach architecture. SoCal NOMA will connect with you following your initial pledge to support you with the implementation and tracking of each item listed. We thank you for your action towards increasing the diversity of the profession and making it a more equitable and inclusive educational experience for all!
For more information, please visit our website www.socalnoma.org and www.noma.net. Also, follow our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin @socalnoma) for the most up to date news. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly.
Stay safe and healthy and let’s continue the fight for equality together!