Education is the key to encourage more African American students to become landscape architects, and the American Society of Landscape Architects is boosting its commitment to providing more career discovery resources.
“Throughout the year, and particularly this month, we honor the unique contributions of African American landscape architects to the communities of this nation,” says ASLA President Vaughn B. Rinner, FASLA. “We need to continually accelerate our ongoing efforts to introduce more African American youth to this creative and rewarding profession. Their perspectives lead to great design and engaged communities, truly benefitting all of us.”
Here are five of ASLA’s top diversity and career discovery initiatives:
- Diversity Summit. ASLA will host its fifth annual diversity summit this summer to strengthen its focus on the recruitment of minorities into academic programs and mentorship of minority students and practitioners. Participants will include African American and Hispanic landscape architects in the early stages of their careers.
- ASLA 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo General Session: Designing for Diversity/Diversity in Design. This plenary—aimed at ASLA members and landscape architecture students—hosted a dynamic and diverse panel who discussed the importance of fostering diversity in design and urban policy. ASLA is continuing this conversation. See the video here.
- Addition of a Career Discovery and Diversity Manager. ASLA has created a new position to increase and support the pool of applicants applying to landscape architecture programs. Once hired, the career discovery and diversity manager will develop and manage the Society’s efforts to increase awareness of landscape architecture as a career path to diverse student groups.
- Online Resources. ASLA encourages teachers and families to explore its career discovery resources, including Your Path to Landscape Architecture and Tools for Teachers.
- Diversity Statement. In 2015 ASLA signed a statement in support of fostering diversity in the landscape architecture profession, along with the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, the Landscape Architecture Foundation, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. These organizations made a commitment to increase resources and actions that recruit minority students to landscape architecture programs and help mentor graduates through licensure and their careers.
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. Members of the Society use "ASLA" after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning and design of our built and natural environments; the Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship.