April 24, 2009
  AIA Diversity Program Calls for 2010 Recognition Submissions
Entries due by September 15, 2009

Summary: The Diversity Recognition Program seeks to recognize architects for exemplary commitment and contributions to diversifying the profession of architecture. A diversified profession mirrors the society it serves; celebrates and encourages the contributions of all architects, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious belief, geographic location, or practice; encourages alternatives to traditional practice models; and provides opportunities for a greater variety of individuals to become architects, take advantage of leadership opportunities, and influence professional practices and lives.

Up to 12 submissions will be selected annually to be recognized as Diversity Best Practices. Submissions are due by September 15, 2009. A commemorative, graphic work created to celebrate these efforts will be presented to each selected architect, whose diversity efforts will be featured in AIA publications, on the AIA Web site, and on the Architect’s Knowledge Resource.

This call for best practice submissions is open to all current members of the AIA. Firms selected for the 2010 AIA Diversity Recognition Program will have demonstrated an adherence to the values of diversity and inclusion. Characteristics the jury will be looking for include:

  • Underrepresented individuals in principal positions (reflective of area demographics)
  • Underrepresented individuals in line for succession to principal positions
  • Recruitment programs for underrepresented individuals
  • Fair/equitable hiring practices
  • Support of underrepresented students through scholarships and mentoring
  • Business relationships with non-majority owned firms, e.g., through joint ventures and contracting
  • Policies that support work-life balance
  • Compensation/pay equity for all employees of similar education and experience
  • No active litigation for discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, age or religious belief (see AIA Public Policy and Position Statements on Diversity).

Topics for submissions
Below are possible topics for submissions that celebrate contributions to a diverse profession. This is not an exhaustive list. Your submission may address any or none of these topic areas.

  • A firm-wide focus on creating a diverse practice
  • A proven record of pro bono work for disadvantaged communities or community groups in disadvantaged neighborhoods
  • The creation/support of leadership opportunities for underrepresented groups
  • A workplace culture that actively encourages the hiring, retention and promotion of individuals with disabilities
  • Proven methods for the retention of employees from underrepresented groups
  • Proven strategies for increasing diversity in the selection of partners
  • The promotion of flex-time or part-time work schedules for employees with families
  • Options for maternity leave and paternity leave
  • The establishment of or participation in educational outreach programs in inner city/disadvantaged schools and communities
  • Active support and outreach programs to minorities and women in the profession
  • The creation of mentorship programs with an emphasis on disadvantaged youth
  • Sustained support programs for international employees
  • A workplace culture that encourages employee participation in community service activities related to architecture.

The AIA encourages submissions with a wide variety of support materials, such as letters/testimonials from program participants, images of projects, etc. All submissions must be in electronic format, either as a PDF or a Word document. Submissions should consist of knowledge gained from experience and be immediately applicable to a task at hand.

Submission materials must include the following and be presented in this order:

  • Application (two pages)
  • If submitted by an individual, a résumé not to exceed two pages
  • If submitted by a firm, a firm profile not to exceed two pages
  • If submitted by an organization, an organization profile not to exceed two pages
  • Support Materials (i.e.: letters/testimonials from program participants, images of projects, literature from programs, marketing materials, etc.), not to exceed 15 pages
  • Signed waiver/release form (one page)

If two or more individuals collaborate on a submission, the submission must include for each person: an application form (two pages), a résumé (not to exceed two pages), and a signed waiver/release form (one page).

Submissions that exceed the designated page limit will be accepted, but a penalty will be assessed during the jury process for each additional page over the limit.

Submissions must be e-mailed to diversity@aia.org, by 5:30 PM ET, on Wednesday, September 15, 2009. Submissions received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Questions may be directed to diversity@aia.org.


  • The jury will be selected by the Diversity Council and AIA staff.
  • Each year, up to 12 proposals will be selected for recognition.


  • A Celebration of Diversity in Architecture Poster
  • A profile in AIArchitect
  • A profile on the AIA Diversity Web page
  • Acknowledgement at AIA Diversity Council Convention Events:
    Gay Lesbian Bisexual Trans-gender Reception
    Lunch Reception for Students and Young Architects
    Minority Fellows Reception
    Women in Architecture Dinner
  • Inclusion in AIA Best Practices library in the Architect’s Knowledge Resource and on AIA.org.


  • Call For Submissions April 17, 2009
  • Deadline for Submissions September 15, 2009
  • Jury Review September—November 2009
  • Best Practice Selections November 2009
  • Announcement of Selections December 2009
  • Celebration of Selections June 2010 (AIA Convention).
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*Prior recipients of the AIA Diversity Recognition Program are not eligible to resubmit their AIA-recognized initiatives. Submissions by prior recipients must feature a new initiative not currently recognized as an AIA Diversity Best Practice.

This information is also available on AIA.org.