ARE Live: How to Remove Diversity Obstacles from Licensure

Join us as we discuss diversity obstacles in the licensure journey with a panel of diverse architects. We will address the issues minorities face in the path to licensure with tips on how to overcome, and how leaders can remove these obstacles for employees.

April Hughes is the Owner and Managing Principal at HPZS in Chicago. She is leading the firm, starting a new chapter in its history as a woman-owned business with the aim to preserve a sustainable future for the Chicago community. As a graduate of the University of Kansas, April gained multiple accolades and awards in the Chicago and Illinois architecture world. She has completed three LEED Platinum and one Gold project, as well as contributed to creating Chicago’s first net-zero single-family residence. She is the President of the AIA-Chicago’s Board of Directors for 2020, and her work has been featured in a plethora of news outlets and publications.

Antoine Bryant is an Associate with Moody Nolan, Houston where he serves as Project Manager and Director of Business Development. Moody Nolan is the nation’s largest firm under African American leadership. Nationally, Antoine serves on the Board of Directors for NOMA as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. As Executive Director of Row House Community Corporation (Row House CDC), he managed and directed the construction of the award-winning Row House Duplexes, the newest quality affordable housing in Houston’s Third Ward in over 15 years. Additionally, he has led many initiatives in affiliation with the City of Houston Planning Commission in Columbus, OH, Washington, D.C., and nearly a dozen other cities across the country.

Alexandra Culciar is a project manager of the healthcare division at Brawer and Hauptman Architecture. She has a bachelor’s in interior as well as architecture and a master’s of interior architecture. She has ten years experience in multifamily, high end residential, commercial, education and healthcare design. Alexandra was born in Europe and moved to the U.S. as a teenager; english is her second language.

Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson is an Associate with Moody Nolan, Chicago and has experience in both technical design and the construction aspects of the industry. She has been an active member of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) since 2007, and currently serves as the Vice President of the Illinois Chapter. She has been involved with a host of organizations serving children in Chicago including My Block, My Hood, My City, I-NOMA’s Project Pipeline and the AIA Chicago chapter’s architecture workshops for CPS.

Young black architect here. Everything that’s been said has resonated - especially re: ARE hazing. How do you recommend go about bringing these issues to the heads of your firms regarding support, especially financial, for your tests? (If the support that’s offered isn’t enough.) And secondly, on a more specific note, dealing with different types of knowledge – the PCM test focused a lot on Financial Management of the firm. Not having a financial background and not being privy to certain financial conversations at any point in my life/career felt and feels like a huge mountain to overcome right out of the gate. What advice can you offer to address that?

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Hey @aharris09 thanks for your well thought out question! I’m reaching out to the panelists for a response since they didn’t have time during the podcast. I’ll post it here in the thread once they get back to me.

Hi, I think the first thing to do with your firm is to access if you want to be there long term. Second, if you do, then you need to make the case of how beneficial it will be to the firm to get your license with their help. If that’s not paying for your exams, then maybe it’s simply buying study materials for you like Amber videos or Black Spectacles.

As for the financial portion of the exam, I don’t think NCARB wants you to know how to financially run a firm but more so how hours are staffed and not so much the detailed process. I think you got this, whatever you learn in your study materials for this exam will be what you need. You should be able to still get advice from your firm on this exam. They can at least be a huge support in that way.

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