Despite all the reasons for me not to be an architect, I am one of the exceptions. When I was young I enjoyed art and design and I easily succeeded at mathematics. At a young age I was introduced to architecture at a Girl Scout career event. From there, my aspirations grew. It did not matter how difficult others told me it was or how many times architects, that I later met, asked me how certain I was about my career choice. The more I researched and discovered, the more I wanted to become an architect.

I am a native of Virginia and grew up in Chesterfield, a suburb between Richmond and Petersburg. My mom always supported my dreams and, after meeting that architect at the career fair, my mom helped me achieve that goal. I attended Howard University and worked in architecture firms in Virginia.

When an opportunity became available to do work that was more community centered, I took it and moved to the left coast to become a Rose Architectural Fellow. I was a Project Manager at the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation. My primary role was as client representative for an affordable condo project and predevelopment of new projects.

Outside of my work, I served as a Girl Scout troop leader, as editor of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) magazine, and chair of the American Institute for Architects Housing Knowledge Community.

As one of 416 (as of 12/29/2017) African American women architects in the US, about .4% of all US licensed architects, I have a unique perspective that is not always represented in mainstream periodicals. Very little research and statistics exists on what these women are doing in their career, and how to increase this number. Most recently I have been working on the the Black Women in Architecture Network.

I also bring that unique observation to how communities are designed. From Virginia, to Washington DC, to San Francisco, all of these environments shaped my thoughts on what makes a good community. We all want to live in vibrant, thriving communities. Sharing examples and asking questions is my way of helping to improve neighborhoods and communities.

Buildings are important but building community is even more important.