The AIA Iowa Diversity Committee is assembled to explore and address relevant issues related to diversity within the Iowa architectural community, and make recommendations toward and actively assist in the development of programs and initiatives that foster and sustain cultural breadth and inclusion. In particular, it will focus on areas in which the Chapter could provide unique contributions in matters of diversity.
This Diversity Toolkit is the new, online diversity and inclusion resource center for firms to use as a springboard for incorporating diversity and inclusion into the practice of architecture. It contains information specifically designed to assist firms in a variety of topic areas including the business case for diversity, return on investment, marketplace diversity, pipeline development and workplace diversity and inclusion.
In the Works
The AIA Iowa Diversity Committee is actively working together with AIAS, NOMAS, ACE, and Iowa State University to create an unprecedented Architecture Mentorship Coalition that will provide support for participants from high school through licensure. Photo from the Mentorship Program
Learning Diversity - "Jumping on the Cultural Competency Highway"
Stephaney Jones-Vo and Gilmara Vila Nova-Mitchell will support participants in developing common language related to cultural competence in order to facilitate shared understandings. Sharing aspects of benefits from their organization's implementation of its cultural competence plan, the presenters will support participants in indentifying how increasing cultural competence could benefit their own work. Participants will take away an increased awareness of aspects of cultural competence and begin to identify next possible steps/needs in their own setting. Jones-Vo and Gilmara Vila Nova-Mitchell are both ESL/Diversity Consultants for the Heartland Area Education Agency. Photo from the first Learning Diversity lunch
Learning Diversity - "Diversity in the Workforce"
Kenan Miller, Employee Development Specialist from the City of Des Moines's Human Resources Department, shared insights on how to address discrimination and foster an inclusive work environment. This event was a success! Thank you again to all who participated in our first lecture of the Learning Diversity lunch series. We appreciate your support.
AIA Position Statement and Definitions
The American Institute of Architects recognizes that diversity can add a special richness to the architecture profession and is committed to mirroring the society we serve. In line with this goal, the AIA has a strategic plan in place to guide our three key strategic initiatives, of which diversity is one.
The AIA believes that diversity is a cultural ethos - a way of thinking or acting that fosters inclusion, enhancing our membership, our profession, and the quality of life in our communities. Embracing this culture of diversity, all programs and initiatives of the AIA and its members shall reflect the society that we serve, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious belief, geographic location or practice.
The AIA defines diversity as the mix of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, practice, geography, programs and organizations. This mixture brings a richness of perspectives, talents and ideas to the AIA and the profession.
The AIA defines inclusiveness as the intentional act of being open, reaching out, removing barriers, and creating an environment so that all members of an organization can achieve their fullest potential.
Bradley Fritz, AIA