Black History Month offers an opportunity to reflect on historic underrepresentation in the architecture field and work toward a more equitable future.
As of 2022, according to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), only 2% of licensed architects in the U.S. identify as Black or African-American. Fewer than .5% of licensed architects are Black women. Historically, aspiring architects of color were barred from pursuing architecture careers by being denied admittance to training programs, prevented from taking licensing exams, and excluded from belonging to professional architecture organizations. While this overt discrimination may be history, there is still much work to be done towards creating equity in our industry. Here at WJW, we have a Dialogue, Education, & Activism committee focused on applying DEI principles to our firm culture and our work, and we recognize that this work is ongoing.
This February, we commemorate the contributions of Black architects and celebrate their legacy and expanded presence in the field.