Facing the design profession’s diversity problem—and its changing future


“One need only take a casual look at this audience to see that we have a long way to go in this field of integration of the architects.”

This is how civil rights activist Whitney M. Young, Jr., then the executive director of the National Urban League, opened his impassioned remarks to a convention of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1968. Young’s speech has become a touchstone in a profession that, nearly 50 years later, still struggles to increase the racial diversity in its ranks.

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