Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

About the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee:

Founded in 2018, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDI Committee) promotes, advocates, and creates opportunities for greater equity, diversity and inclusiveness in the practice of architecture.

The EDI Committee uses the following to describe and define equity, diversity, and inclusion in practice:

  • Equity – Means a condition is level and impartial. Acknowledging an uneven playing field, recognizing inherent power differentials and disparate treatment based on identity.
  • Diversity – Mix of different kinds of people. Identity markers, such as gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, age, and disability.
  • Inclusion – Creates an environment in which everyone is able to equally contribute to discussions and decision-making and have the ability to help change systems.

2020 EDI Committee Goals:  

The EDI Committee has set measurable goals that meet AIA National keystones and local priorities via a two-pronged approach: Action and Awareness.  The EDI Committee goals for 2020 include:


  • Measure and report how principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion permeate the AIA which begins by compiling data of AIA staff, volunteers, and elected and appointed leaders on national, regional, local, and component levels.
  • Promote guides for equitable, diverse, and inclusive practice. See AIA Guides for Equitable Practice
  • Develop a firm self-assessment tool to measure and track initiatives that create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive practice. Criteria can include policies, life/work, family-friendly benefits, etc.
  • Require equity, diversity and inclusion data as part of AIA awards submissions
  • Tell our stories through open meetings and panel discussions that continue to develop the messaging that highlights the equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession.
  • Ensure that AIA publications reflect limited multicultural and gender representation and make broader depictions of the full range of communities represented in the ranks of architects.


  • Promote equity, diversity, and inclusion as core values for the Board of Directors. Those actions include resolutions, business items, and member-led initiatives that prepare AIA Chicago to lead relevant and socially-conscious conversations and become an organization that embodies those values.
  • Advocate for equitable and accessible paths to higher education by working with NAAB on accreditation, through advocating for support of existing bridge programs and the creation of new ones, and establishing and growing diversity scholarships and funding for underrepresented students.
  • Engage the next generation and their families with K-12 architecture mentorship programs and to enlist architects to volunteer in communities.
  • Create a pledge for offices to commit to equitable, diverse and inclusive principles and practices
  • Work within and outside of the workplace to contribute to equity in our communities through architecture 
  • Advocate for equitable policies in our building practices at city and state levels. 

AIA Chicago EDI Firm Assessment Tool

Click here to access the assessment tool introductory packet to learn more about this important tool, including its development and applications.

AIA Equity Roundtable Members


Jennifer Park, Brininstool + Lynch

Natalie Hicks, Wright Heerema Architects

David Mulder, Brininstool + Lynch


Emilio Padilla, JGMA

Cristina Gallo, VIA Chicago

Jean Dufresne, Space Architects + Planners

Oswaldo Ortega, Gensler

Charlie McIlraith, Apex Design Build

Rachel Wiesbrock, 5th year IIT BArch student    

Korey White, Stantec Architecture   

Advocacy Committee: Drew Deering, Moody Nolan  

Advisory Board:

Carol Ross Barney, Ross Barney

Phil Johnson, Johnson and Lee

Brian Lee, SOM

Edward Torrez, Bauer Latoza Studio

Patricia Saldaña Natke, UrbanWorks

Walter D. Street III, AIA Chicago Foundation


We meet monthly and dedicate time and energy to promoting, advocating, and creating opportunities for greater equity, diversity and inclusiveness in the practice of architecture.



AIA has released the Guides for Equitable Practice, published by its Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee (EQFA) and the University of Minnesota. This publication is a vital part of AIA’s long-term commitment to lead efforts that ensure the profession of architecture is as diverse as the nation we serve. These guides will help you make the business and professional case for ensuring that your organization meets the career development, professional environment, and cultural awareness expectations of current and future employees and clients.