School of Architecture Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism
In partnership with our peer Departments at the Academy of Art University, with our non-profit partners in San Francisco, with our professional and academic colleagues across the United States, and with the knowledge that architectural education and the profession of architecture have a long way to go before we have built equitable representation across race and gender identities, the School of Architecture offers our commitment to doing better. We hear, once again, a Call to Action.
The Black Lives Matter movement, along with outstanding advocacy from National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Design as Protest, and Blackspace.org, demands a reimagined future of architecture. In response, we are re-crafting the School of Architecture Strategic Plan to create Anti-Racist culture and curriculum with the following priorities for action:
We are actively listening to our students who engage with us to unveil their experiences. To make the conversations more transparent, we are introducing a new platform called Director-Student Conversations on Diversity and Identity.
- Host recurring Director-Student Conversations on Diversity and Identity on Zoom. First session is scheduled for Thursday 7/16/2020 at 5pm PST.
- Increase transparency by creating and posting products, both visual and text, from the Conversations on Concept Board.
- Incorporate feedback from Students and Faculty into the Strategic Plan with a set of actions for each goal.
We are learning and re-learning the methodologies of social justice to support open, honest, and productive conversations on race inequalities with our students.
- Investigate pathways to offer Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training for faculty.
- Invite faculty to share their expertise and insights to compile a shared resource.
- Foster a culture of empathy and patience necessary to bridge differences in opinions
- Dedicate resources to create and maintain a designated space on the department blog specifically for Anti-Racism education and events.
We are re-designing our architecture studio curriculum to remove barriers to achievement and to address issues of inequity and injustice.
- Redesign ARH 110 Studio 1 curriculum to provide an inclusive entry into the Architectural education. Launching in Fall 2020.
- Redesign ARH 315 Midpoint Studio to increase student success by allowing an additional semester for students to develop skills. In addition, continue to support student growth through emphasis on meaningful service-related public projects. Implemented in Spring 2020.
- Redesign ARH 450 Housing Studio to introduce new curriculum highlighting the structural inequity preventing creation of generational wealth in communities of color. Planned for Fall 2020.
- Create opportunities for students to learn about unjust policies and histories through site and program selections in design studios.
- Incorporate topics of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in graduate studio curricula.
We are investigating the breadth of our history, theory, and professional courses to expose the history of racism that have prevented black communities and communities of color from thriving. In addition, we are specifically highlighting the contributions of black architects, black culture, and black labor in the built environment.
- Support faculty in assessing their respective courses for possible curriculum changes.
- Introduce vertical curriculum arcs across multiple courses to address the history of racist zoning and incarceration in the US.
- Incorporate diverse sources of readings, precedents, references.
- Shift architectural history and theory courses towards more inclusive sources and themes.
- Create opportunities for students to learn how demographic and historical mapping uncovers unjust policies in the US and beyond.
We are examining the practices that we take for granted in addressing how we utilize shared spaces together with our professional and non-profit partners who work in the realms of public space and place-making.
- Cultivate a network of guest speakers who can advance our ability to integrate these ideas into our curriculum. Leverage existing platforms such as the Ethics and Leadership Panel held each semester or create new platforms.
We are mentoring students and young architects on their professional paths so that they become advocates for underserved communities.
- Ensure diversity in panelists and mentors in the ongoing Professional Preparedness Workshops.
- Initiate a National Organization of Minority Architect Students (NOMAS) chapter and seek student feedback.
- Partner with the University to further high school and freshmen recruitment.
We are recruiting faculty and guest speakers who will broaden our perspectives and increase our empathy for communities of color and students of color.
- Recruit new faculty qualified to teach new curriculum. Planned for Fall 2020.
- Create new outreach for faculty hires.
We are building safe and equitable spaces for Black communities in San Francisco. We will work towards a goal of empowering more residents and communities to be agents of Anti-Racism in the design of the built environment.
- Ensure that Bayview Commons Design Build will continue in Fall 2020.