AIA Vermont Forms Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Equity, diversity, and Inclusion


“To be better professionals in the face of a complex world, we need collaboration and cooperation within our practices. We need innovation and ingenuity. And we need the energy and engagement of our best people—whoever they are, whatever their heritage, wherever they call home.”1


AIA Vermont's Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and membership committee launched this year to better serve our members, as well as the public in an equitable and inclusive way. The committee members include Chair, Taryn Barrett, Catherine Lange, Nathalia Ellis, Eleanor D'Aponte, Jeff McBride, and Jay Caroli.  All AIAVT members are welcome to join.  We meet monthly and have been discussing broad and specific ideas and actions.  Here is a list of some work ahead:


  • Resources and Celebration.
    • Create easy access with a new page on the AIAVT website with links for members to helpful resources. Newly published, this page will continue to have new content added.  EDI Resources
    • Form alliances with groups that already focus on EDI and leverage the unique potential of architects as 'place-makers' to be part of a broader more meaningful conversion.
  • Outreach & Alliances.  Cast a wider and more inclusive net into the general community to connect on topics related to architecture + design through outreach focused on various development and education areas, including early childhood, teenage years, and architecture students at the college level.
  • Examine VT Licensure Path.  Identify barriers to the architectural career path for minorities. For example, committee members reflected on their own experiences with the State of Vermont’s path to licensure.  Some reflected on becoming eligible to take exams around the same time as raising young children, and the challenges of maintaining a full work schedule. How does Vermont’s regulations compare to other states?
  • The Workplace & Design Work.  Create awareness around implicit bias that impacts hiring practices and office culture, increases retention of BIPOC members of architecture firms, and make sure that our projects are not harming communities that are already in disadvantage. 

AIAVT members that are interested in joining the EDI Committee are encouraged to reach out to Executive Director, Sarah O Donnell to learn more.


1  EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION COMMISSION EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Jan 25, 2017