In 2020, after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black lives, we made a pledge to do more. While the ongoing pandemic took a toll on recruitment efforts in 2021, in the almost two years since our pledge, we’ve doubled down on supporting grassroots organizations, mentoring and encouraging young Black architects and designers, and listening closely to the communities we work with.
In honor of Black History Month, we’re sharing an update on the progress we made in the second year of our pledge:
- As part of the AIA Large Firm Roundtable, we continue to support the professional development of black architects through the AIA LFRT ARE Scholarship Program, initiated in 2020. The LFRT ARE scholarship covers the full cost of the designers’ Architectural Registration Examination, study materials, and Associate AIA membership.
- We kicked off the second year of our mentorship program for Black students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In collaboration with Harvard’s African American Students Union, Perkins&Will design staff mentor Black GSD students, and those GSD students, in turn, mentor Black high school students. Read a recap of the first year of the program here.
- The Nagle-Johnson Family Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, which was established three years ago by our Global Design Director Ralph Johnson and his wife Kathleen Nagle, provides financial aid to a Black student for the 2021-2022 academic year.
- Through our Social Purpose program, we donated our time to design projects for underserved communities, including the design of a space for Success House—A Road to Recovery, Inc., a Black-led nonprofit focused on rehabilitating women, and particularly mothers, with addiction. Learn more about the project here.
- Last October, we were a proud Platinum Sponsor of the NOMA Conference, both in-person and virtual, which afforded us the opportunity to engage aspiring Black designers for future recruitment opportunities. This year, we will once again be a Platinum Sponsor.
- We formed the Sepia Affinity Group for our employees to encourage belonging, kinship, and creative expression through the lens of the diverse experiences within the Black Experience.
- We created a NOMA Exclusive mentorship program for 12 students in Southeast Region, and we hosted numerous NOMA student portfolio and resume workshops.
At Perkins&Will, we will continue to do our part every day to design a more equitable and just world.