"How can we make sure people designing cities are representative of the places they serve?"
The backstory: Earlier this year, the 400th African-American woman was licensed to be an architect in the United States. With over 110,000 registered architects, that makes just .03 percent.
Brown wants to change that. As an architectural designer born & raised in Detroit, she recently won a $50,000 Knight Arts grant to launch 400 Forward with Urban Arts Collective, which she co-founded with two fellow designers from Detroit.
The objective? To build a more accessible road for the next generation, through multi-point contact starting at K-12 levels through licensure.
Brown's resume is impressive. She works for SmithGroupJJR, one of the oldest firms in the U.S., with over a thousand employees and nearly a dozen locations in the U.S. and China. She is Vice President of NOMA Detroit and serves on the K-12 Working Group with The American Institute of Architects. She holds both an M.Arch and MBA from Lawrence Tech, where she is also an adjunct professor.
Working with school counselors, teachers & administrators, Brown is passionate about finding the next 400 Black women architects in the same urban public schools where she started. To do this, she needs all hands on deck—including help raising a match for her Knight Arts grant (so stay tuned for opportunities to contribute!)
To watch the Facebook Live video of her talk, click here.
To read our Twitter thread with notes & quotes, click here.
Suggested reading & viewing:
"Only .03% of Architects are Black Women... (Michigan Radio)
Michael Ford TEDx Talk on Hip Hop Architecture (TEDxMadison)
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Urban Consulate is a network of parlors for urban exchange. A 2016 Knight Cities winner, the Consulate has hosted over 150 conversations in Detroit, Philadelphia & New Orleans to bring people together and share ideas for better cities. Follow @UrbanConsulate on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
Photo: Orlando Bailey, Urban Consulate