BWA Brunch pt1

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Connecting with black women architects

Since I moved to the DMV area in early 2014, I have been thinking about having a get together for Black women architects. Earlier this summer, I was part of a blog series initiated by Equity in Design (formerly The Missing 32%). I was reading a post by one of the other authors, LaShae Ferguson, discussing bias and privilege. I could relate and wanted to know more. As I got to the end and read her bio and saw that she was also in DC, I thought “why don’t I know this woman?” The circle of black women architects is small. Having lived on both coasts, being involved at the national level of our professional organizations, and after attending many conferences over the last 10 years, I know a lot of us. I made it my mission to meet this woman so we arranged to have lunch when we could coordinate our schedules around work and kids.

During lunch with LaShae in August, when I mentioned a few women that I thought she should know, I was surprised that she did not know these local women in architecture. I realized I could be connecting her to them. There are women that could be great mentors or advisors especially as she tries to build her firm. We also bonded over the fact that we share the same birth month. It seemed like a great idea to have an event to bring women together around that time.

I threw the idea out by email to a few women I know. I decided to not just make this connection for one woman, but to host a brunch for Black Women in Architecture in the DC area. There was a lot of excitement and people were forwarding my email around before I could even really wrap my head around logistics. I started with a list of 25 women who I knew or were acquaintances.

final Invite-cropA space was secured. I called my friend, Terricinia St Clair, who used to be a full time interior designer and is now a sommelier and owner the Tipsy Sommelier. She gladly accepted the invite to cater and bring her wine tasting expertise to the event. Invitations were sent out and soon RSVPs were filling my email.

Read about LaShae’s perspective in the next post, Part 2, and the final post, Part 3.