Studio One Eleven has expanded our Diversity and Inclusion initiative to further build our firm as an anti-racist organization. Our staff-led REDI (Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion) Teams focus on three areas: Social Equity, Professional Development, and Policy.
We looked at our own profession for ideas and turned to SoCal NOMA, the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. SoCal NOMA seeks to advance and support the education and careers of those who have been historically under-represented in the field of architecture and various allied design/build professions.
In 2020, Studio One Eleven sponsored the 10th annual SoCal NOMA Summer Camp. Our staff members volunteered to lead these middle-school campers, who enthusiastically embraced homework assignments such as “build a paper city.”
As part of the firm's REDI commitment, Studio One Eleven accepted the SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge in 2020. We are committed to collaborating with NOMA to make the SoCal DEI Challenge a national movement among design firms.
The SoCal NOMA DEI Challenge consists of ten actions below.
Mandatory: Conduct an annual diversity survey of Southern California office locations, detailing the current size of the firm, employee ethnicity, employee gender, and employee age.
- Partner and/or collaborate on projects with architecture firms that are Black-owned or owned by underrepresented people of color.
- Create project teams that include Black-owned or underrepresented persons of color in prime, partner, or sub-consultant roles.
- Provide paid internships for architecture students from historically Black design schools (HBCUs), or for Black and underrepresented people of color from local architecture schools in Southern California.
- Increase recruitment of Black and underrepresented people of color for design staff, leadership, and the total number of professionals at the firm.
- Develop a mentorship program within the firm or participate in an outside mentoring program to connect and support Black and underrepresented people of color in their career development within the profession.
- Increase the career advancement of Black and underrepresented people of color to management and leadership positions.
- Include Black & underrepresented people of color in company-wide marketing materials, social media, and publications to increase representation and recognition of employee contributions to projects and the firm.
- Conduct diversity training for all staff at the firm.
- Provide pro-bono design services and hands-on contributions to underserved communities (Black and underrepresented people of color) by partnering up with local grass-roots organizations.
- Join SoCalNOMA as an annual Chapter Partner to support all the chapter initiatives including Project Pipeline (Summer Camp & HS Boot Camp), local college NOMAS Chapters, Young Professionals licensure programs, and Senior Practitioners continuing education programs.
Firms that participated in 2020 as we did were part of the program's first year and, as such, reported results to SoCal NOMA that will not be published. As we embark on this challenge for 2021, we plan to accept the challenge knowing that SoCal NOMA will expand the communications around participants, publishing the names of those firms that earn 70 or more points out of 100 possible. In 2020, we were able to participate in enough of the actions required by SoCal NOMA to earn more than 70 points. We are anticipating continuing our commitment and reporting more about this in the year to come.