February marks African American History Month as a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans in every endeavor of our history. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) offers four reasons why it is celebrating:
- African American landscape architects have made numerous contributions to their communities and improved our national well-being. For example, trail-blazing landscape architect David Williston designed some of the major campuses of historically African American colleges like Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute and Howard University in Washington, D.C. More recently, Diane Jones Allen, ASLA, program director for landscape architecture at the College of Architecture Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, participated in the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience. The panel will release its recommendations this spring.
- All landscape architects must better understand our nation’s heritage to better serve clients and communities. For landscape architecture to remain a relevant and responsive profession, it must reflect the communities it serves. Greater diversity in the profession will bring new perspectives to its education and practice that increase social equity, creative potential and profession/community connections.
- ASLA remains committed to diversity. Since 2013 ASLA has convened an annual diversity summit to strengthen its focus on the recruitment of minorities into academic programs and mentorship of minority students and practitioners. Its sixth diversity summit will take place this summer. The Society is looking for six new participants to add valuable input to discussions and resource development.
- Eligibility: If you are a landscape architecture professional of color in the United States with at least two years of professional experience and interested in applying, please complete the 2018 ASLA Diversity Summit Call for Letters of Interest by Wednesday, March 7. Selected participants will be notified in early April. ASLA will pay primary transportation and two nights lodging for all participants, and breakfast and lunch will be provided on the summit days.
- ASLA wants to help K-12 teachers and students discover landscape architecture as a career option. ASLA encourages teachers and families to explore its career discovery resources, including Your Path to Landscape Architecture and Tools for Teachers.
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA’s mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the Society’s programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient development practices through the creation of its own green roof, co-development of the SITES® Rating System and the creation of publicly accessible sustainable design resources.