Architects Foundation Launches Black Women in Architecture Scholarship

Image © Christina Morillo from Pexels

Image © Christina Morillo from Pexels

Mobilizing the architecture industry to provide opportunities for women, specifically for Black and minority women, has been an ongoing effort in recent years. Not only that, but the discussions over the state of racial and social injustice in field, the continued mistreatment of Black communities taking place in the larger world, and the growing and disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have together sparked greater efforts to re-evaluate racial biases inherent to many industries.

However, if there’s anything the events of 2020 have taught the architecture industry, it’s that architects, design professionals, and students should not be complacent with the mere “discussions” of making changes, but should instead focus on instilling real solutions in institutions and practices.

The AIA’s philanthropic partner, the Architects Foundation, recently launched a new scholarship specifically to raise funds for Black Women in architecture. The Desiree V. Cooper Memorial fund aims to provide scholarship funding for Black Women earning a degree in architecture. Created to honor the late Desiree Cooper, a DC-based architect who sadly passed in 2015, the scholarship celebrates her work and highlights her efforts as a Black licensed architect in the U.S.

According to the scholarship’s site, over thirty architecture firms and studios have committed to fundraising donations. The Architects Foundation states on their site, “Our partners will be matching donations up to $15,600. Together, we could raise $31,200.”

Matching Partners:

With social media aiding in spreading the word of the fundraising process, a growing number of donating partners have pledged their commitment to the scholarship. Of course, the Architects Foundation is not the first organization aiming to draw attention to the importance of providing resources and funding to Black architects, trailblazers like Tiffany Brown of 400 Forward, Michael Ford of Hip Hop Architecture, Pascale Sablan of Beyond the Built Environment, NOMA, Blackspace, and many other organizations have made continuous efforts towards changing and dismantling the architecture industry’s unjust tendencies towards Black and minority communities.


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