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Nominate Candidates to Attend the ASLA Diversity Summit 2013

This summer, ASLA will inaugurate an effort to tackle the stubborn issue of the lack of diversity among landscape architecture professionals. In particular, African Americans and Latinos are seriously underrepresented in the field and have remained so despite the best efforts of concerned landscape architects and educators.


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To better understand why this persists and how the tide might be turned, ASLA will convene a Diversity Summit July 12–14 in Alexandria, Virginia.

The goal of this gathering of minds is to identify real-world obstacles and opportunities as experienced by those who have overcome them: African American and Latino practitioners with three to five years of experience. They have navigated the issues of awareness, study, employment, and sometimes licensure to become valued members of the profession. In sharing their stories, we hope to map some actionable tactics to help knock down some of the barriers. Following the summit, participants will act as an advisory group as ASLA tests their ideas.

We need your help in identifying potential participants. We are hoping you will submit candidates’ names and, if possible, résumés for consideration, or you can urge your colleagues to nominate themselves. The attendees should represent a variety of backgrounds, but we are particularly interested in those who came new to the profession on nontraditional paths. We intend to keep the education community apprised of everything we do, but at this time we are not including students in the mix. As this first year is a beta test of sorts, and the size of the event will be limited, we may not be able to accept all nominations. However, all submitted candidates will be kept apprised through the year of actions and, hopefully, outcomes.

You can submit candidate names, résumés, and contact information to ASLA Director Terry Poltrack at tpoltrack@asla.org. As mentioned, candidates ideally will be African American or Latino, three to five years into practice, and valued colleagues who have unique perspectives to share. The summit will be facilitated by Juanita Shearer-Swink, FASLA, but this will be the attendees’ meeting. They will share their perspectives and ideas with us. We are there to learn.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Terry. His phone is 202.216.7852. 



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