I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity lately while involved in an ambitious project to capture the thoughts and ideas of members of our local section of the AIA in an archive that celebrates the profession in the region and its strides toward a more diverse membership. Those that first came to mind for this series of ongoing interviews certainly are our thought leaders and trailblazers, though they spoke of those that came before them, and before them.
I am at once struck by how timely it is that the national conversation, spurned by the President himself, is also ours now, in the spotlight in our own profession. But perhaps it is instead only the next generation along the continuum of struggle and opportunity, that we find ourselves poised to shape the national character yet again, and maybe too the culture of our profession with ideas that come with the diversity of thought.
I realized in the process of collecting our interviews just how starved I was for the inspiration, encouragement and sentiments from our colleagues from the generation, or even the graduating class before us. How often are you urged to ‘keep moving forward’, ‘hone your skills, be prepared’, ‘be bold’, or hear ‘your time is now’? Words to live by. And coupled with the motivation to contribute, this is the WE not the ME, to this continuum of our practice-profession, through mentorship and leadership and the true spirit of giving back for those to come. I am enlightened and charged with renewed purpose. Real role models, real proof, that yes we can.