*1998/Summary of Achievements

AIA Diversity Squadron Achievements 1992-98                                    Source: Marga Rose Hancock notes

Some  major achievements of the Diversity Task Force in concert with the Women in Architecture and Minority Resources committees:

The Diversity Conference has created and nurtured an intergenerational community of architects and designers from diverse backgrounds. Each year, the Conference draws together educators and practitioners, individuals from public and private practice, from all career phases and from across the US.  Many describe the Diversity Conference as a "safe place" they've sought, with freedom for expression of ideals and fears, disappointments and hopes, concerns and commitments.  Previous participants and newcomers come together in an experiential program that includes inspiring keynote addresses by accomplished practitioners, educators, and activists; interactive workshops and seminars; informal social events; and the highlight TRIBUTES program honoring special "undersung" achievements to advance architecture's social goals.


The Diversity Conference has succeeded in the goal of cultivating new leadership and other resources for AIA.  Of the original group, several have proceeded to key positions in AIA leadership.  The membership elected Walter Blackburn to serve as a national Vice President in 1995, and he competed ably for the office of President in 1995 and 1996.  Gordon Chong and Sylvia Kwan went on to election to the national Board of Directors.  Both of them and also Karl Thorne have received the honor of advancement to the AIA College of Fellows.

Many "alumnae" of the Diversity Conference have gone on to make presentations at other AIA events including the Convention (e.g. Leslie Kanes Weisman, Michaele Pride-Wells, Ken Rhyne, Jack Travis, Sharon E. Sutton, Rena Klein, and others).  Others have taken key teaching and academic posts -- e.g. Sharon E. Sutton as Director of the Center for Environment, Education, and Design Studies at University of Washington and President of NAAB; and write in professional journals, e.g. Sheri Olson, whose work presented at the first AIA Diversity Conference formed the basis for an article on Women in the Profession in Architectural Record and who now holds the post of Senior Editor for that magazine.


AIA Presidents and Presidents-elect, Board Members, and staff leaders have attended each of the Diversity Conferences -- and in doing so have not only tuned in to the challenges and promise of diverse architects, but have added their own perspective and savvy to the ongoing development of the Diversity Agenda.


The Diversity Agenda has supported individual architects' engagement and involvement in their communities.  Many architects have joined AIA as a result of attending the Diversity conference.  Many others have taken active roles in AIA local components:  e.g. Janice Woodcock as Secretary of AIA Philadelphia, Rebecca Barnes as Secretary of the Boston Society of Architects; Jim Suehiro as President of AIA Seattle; Teresa Rodriguez, Alex Rolluda, and Marga Rose Hancock with AIA Seattle, where they most recently established the Denice Hunt Fellowship for K-12 design and planning studies.


Through the annually-updated Diversity Agenda, Conference attendees add their own commitments to the Agenda.  Their "witnessing" of what they have achieved -- individually and collectively -- becomes a basis for communication, mutual support, and advancement of original and refreshed goals for a multi-cultural profession.