Our Commitment to Anti-Racism Work and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action
As of August 3, 2020
The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design unequivocally condemns the police brutality and anti-Black violence that led to the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and dozens of other Black, Indigenous and People of Color before them.
We recognize that these tragic events are just the latest, most high-profile incidents in our nation’s long history of institutionalized racism. We also recognize our profound obligation as a school to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Weitzman community and the professions we help sustain. We acknowledge the direct link between anti-Black racism and violence, and affirm our commitment to promoting design justice as part of our institutional mission to advance the public good. We call on all of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni – particularly those with privilege – to reflect on our own contributions to perpetuating racial inequality and how we can actively support the Black community as well as the other minority communities who make up our School.
There is much work to be done in addressing structural inequality and routing out racism and, as an institution, we have an obligation to take concrete steps towards that goal. Responding to centuries of injustice is not an intellectual exercise. If we are to make progress, we must commit ourselves, individually and collectively, to eliminate the harmful biases within our community. The Weitzman School is committed to taking action and to regularly monitoring and documenting our progress across our operations in the following five areas.
Recruitment of Faculty, Staff, and Students
- Recruit, retain, and support more Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) faculty and staff members, including tenure track faculty and faculty and staff in leadership positions.
- Recruit, retain, and support more BIPOC students.
- Implement initiatives to increase the pipeline of BIPOC students pursuing the art, design, planning, and preservation professions.
Creating a More Inclusive Community – Training and Programming
- Conduct anti-racism and diversity and inclusion training for faculty, staff, and students on an ongoing basis.
- Provide training to all students in how to engage with BIPOC sites and communities in a respectful, meaningful way, as part of design studios, research or consulting projects – adopting the mindset and practice of partner and collaborator, rather than visitor.
- Implement programming to make the Weitzman community more inclusive and to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff members are valued and feel heard.
Knowledge Production/Preparing Students/Advancing the Professions
- Review and restructure the curricula in each of the School’s departments to ensure a diverse representation of voices and perspectives, including BIPOC voices.
- Increase the diversity of studio critics, jurors, and other academic participants in the School.
- Ensure that the School’s research agenda includes work by, and for, BIPOC and other marginalized communities.
- Increase public awareness of how the architecture, fine art, landscape architecture, planning, and preservation professions have contributed to racial injustice and formulate a framework for promoting racial equity.
- Establish an emergency fund to help students with financial need or who encounter unanticipated financial emergencies, and increase transparency related to out-of-pocket costs.
- Continue to raise funds to support student fellowships and help decrease student debt.
Infrastructure, Transparency, and Reporting
- Ensure that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work is more prominent in and more fully integrated into the School and each department/program, and review relevant data and accountability measures regularly to monitor the School’s progress.
- Increase transparency related to selection criteria for awards and student employment.
We intend for this list to evolve as we grow in our work. We invite feedback, and we commit to reporting on our efforts and progress at least annually. Each of us has a role, and we pledge our commitment to continuous work to be antiracist in our thinking and in our doing.
[Editor's note: Departmental plans, released in November 2020, are available from the Downloads section to the right of this message, on this page.]
A Message from Dean Steiner: Mourning George Floyd
Dear Weitzman Community,
Life under quarantine has challenged all of us to look beyond ourselves to prevent the suffering of others, yet today we confront such widespread pain that I am struggling to say anything that will make a meaningful difference. But words are important as we gather our strength to move forward with purpose.
I am appalled by the senseless death of George Floyd, who last week joined the far-too-long list of other African Americans killed by the very people charged to protect us, and I know many of you are hurting.
In George Floyd’s death, we’re witnesses, yet again, to the destructive bias, unequal treatment, and unchecked violence that have taken root in our society, and the deep wounds created by systemic racism. Every day, Black men, women and children are unfairly targeted and treated unequally because of their race—an experience, I am saddened to say, that is not foreign to many members of our community, who have themselves been victims of bias and racism. To the Black members of the Weitzman community, I offer my profound condolences. I want to acknowledge your experiences, your frustration, and your anger, and to express my heartfelt support.
Moving forward, let us redouble our commitment to building a more just and healthy world. Let us recognize that we rise and fall together, and that we all have a responsibility to eradicate hatred, bigotry, and racism in our communities. Let us protect each other and the planet that sustains us. Let us design and plan more equitable places. Let us preserve Civil Rights sites and other places significant to African American heritage. Let us make art that reveals the truth about our weaknesses and our possibilities. Let us ask each day: what good may we do?
Dean and Paley Professor
Co-Executive Director, The Ian L. McHarg Center: Urbanism + Ecology
University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design
Summer 2020 Message from Inclusion in Design
Dear Weitzman Community,
The members of Inclusion in Design have been deeply saddened by recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among countless others. We are angered by the pervasive racism and bigotry in this country that actively oppress the black community.
The fight for equity, inclusivity, and justice is not just about equality, but also the survival and prosperity of black and brown communities in the United States. It is horrible that the black community is constantly targeted and are openly abused and murdered while merely existing. Ultimately, the fight for equality and equity doesn't end at survival, it ends when the systems of oppression that perpetuates law enforcement's abuse of power (or the police state), poverty and disparity are abolished.
The members of Inclusion in Design are committed to supporting students of color at Weitzman and support the current protests occurring in Philadelphia and throughout the country. We firmly stand with the black community at Weitzman and throughout the country against police brutality, social and economic violence, and racism.
Inclusion in Design would like to ask the Weitzman faculty, students, and staff to reflect on the perpetual violence directed especially at the African-American community during this time and develop transformative actions we can both support and initiate within our professional fields that directly support our neighbors. Our professions, ranging from policy and advocacy to design, demands that we believe Black stories and work radically to repair these ills. We have a responsibility as students of color, as allies, and as professionals to dismantle the institutions propagating these injustices.
Please feel free to reach out at email@example.com with any concerns or suggestions that can help support this movement.
Peace and Strength,
IiD [Inclusion in Design is a student-led group that seeks to foster an environment in which students of color, marginalized identities, and allies can thrive.]
If you feel compelled to donate, below are a list of a few organizations that need our support.
Our Commitment to Diversity
The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design is committed to creating an educational setting in which all students, faculty members, and staff members are valued.
We strive to create an inclusive culture that celebrates difference and is strengthened by contributions from people of all races, religions, countries of origin, genders, ages, sexual orientations, physical abilities, learning differences, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
We aspire to support and retain a student body, faculty and staff who are representative of the multiple communities and publics with which we collaborate and work.
A diverse community here enhances our ability to prepare the next generation of artists, architects, landscape architects, planners, and preservationists to become leaders and innovators in a multicultural society.
Read a message from Dean Fritz Steiner, "Mourning George Floyd," June 1, 2020.
Read a message from President Amy Gutmann on recent tragic events, June 3, 2020.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek.” –President Barack Obama
Shortly after his appointment in the summer of 2016, Dean Steiner formed a Faculty Diversity Work Group (DWG) to advise him on strategies to (1) increase the diversity of the School’s faculty, staff, and student body; (2) promote a more inclusive community; (3) and foster a learning environment that encourages and celebrates difference. In June 2017, the DWG presented the Dean with a report with recommendations to continue these efforts. In September 2017 the Dean convened a formal Diversity Committee with faculty, staff, and student representation to implement recommendations. In October 2017, Associate Director for Faculty Affairs, Karyn Tufarolo, was named the Weitzman School Diversity Coordinator. This position, working closely with all member of the committee, organizes events, coordinates trainings and discussions on diversity-related issues, updates the diversity section of the school’s website, and reports on the Weitzman School’s progress toward goals outlined in the school’s Faculty Diversity Plan. Activities have included: faculty discussions regarding resources within course content and supporting inclusive classrroms, student diversity town halls, students of color meet-n-greeet, events highlighting elective offerings addressing specific topics of diversity, a conversation about gender-inclusivity in the academic environment, implicit bias workshops, a dialogues across difference workshop, discussions on micoraggressions in the workplace, and more. In Fall 2019, the committee renamed themselves as the Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Committee to better reflect the scope of these ongoing efforts.
Events Spring 2021 (online)
Below are some of the Weitzman School events in Spring 2021 supporting discussions and activities relating to equality, social justice, and diversity in many forms within our disciplines.Events are updated at the beginning of the term and additions to this list should be sent to the Weitzman Diversity Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring 2021 (Note: Penn's commitment to health and safety during the global pandemic means that in-person events are not possible in spring 2021. Spring 2021 events are being held online during this time)
- Sharon E. Sutton | Decolonizing the City-Making Professions: Learning from the Dreams and Defeats of the 1960s - (Mar 17 2021) -Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton, FAIA is a distinguished visiting professor of architecture at Parsons School of Design and has also served on the faculties of Columbia University, Pratt Institute, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. She was the twelfth African American woman to be licensed to practice architecture, the first to be promoted to full professor of architecture, and the second to be elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects. Dr. Sutton's scholarship explores America's continuing struggle for racial justice.nA recent book, When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in Americas Cities and Universities, portrays an audacious affirmative action effort at Columbia University during the Civil Rights Movement. A forthcoming book (Fordham 2021), A Pedagogy of Hope: Pursuing Democracy’s Promise through Place-Based Activism, characterizes the struggles of low-income youth to improve their rundown surroundings as a new form of activism.
June Grant | Design, Advocacy, and Reimagining Agency - June A. Grant, RA, NOMA, is Founder and Design Principal at blink!LAB architecture; a boutique research-based architecture and urban design practice. Her design approach rests on an avid belief in cultural empathy, data research and new technologies as integral to design futures and design solutions. blink!LAB has three mandates - A committment to design exploration, advocacy for holistic solutions, and the integration of technology as a central component for a regenerative society. Open and collaborative, Blink!LAB is a small multi-disciplinary design studio with projects bridging architectural form, urban economics, urban design, industrial design, furniture and digital fabrication towards the creation of regenerated communities.
WEITZMAN EVENTS FOR RACIAL JUSTICE WEEK - Each year, Penn Law hosts Public Interest Week, a series of programs connected by a social justice theme. This year’s series focuses on racial justice, and was expanded to include other schools at Penn. The Weitzman School is participating with two events, featuring Aida Davis, CEO and founder of Decolonize Design, and Randall Mason, associate professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and faculty director of the Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites.
Conversation with Aida Davis, founder of Decolonize Design - Monday, February 1, 12:00pm - Aida Davis is the CEO and founder of Decolonize Design, a community development organization that considers alternatives to the status quo and centers African and other Indigenous approaches to engagement and design thinking. Her experience spans community and labor organizing, campaign management, leadership development, design thinking methods, and policy consulting. She is passionate about creating a just and fair society, in which all are participating, prospering, and reaching their full potential.
Randall Mason | Learn about Penn’s New Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites - (Feb 4, 12:00pm) - Launched in fall of 2020, the Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites (CPCRS) is devoted to the preservation of built environments that reflect and symbolize the civil rights movement in the US. CPCRS is committed to advancing the understanding and sustainable conservation of heritage places commemorating the African-American struggle. Learn more about the future of the Center from Faculty Director Randall Mason, associate professor in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. The Center’s work revolves around partnerships with HBCUs, stewardship organizations, preservation advocates, design professionals, scholars and other supporters of civil rights heritage.
Amber N. Wiley: “The Revolution Continues”: The Legacy of Black Heritage Movement - (Mar 4, 5:30pm) - Join the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites for an evening talk by Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D. Her presentation re-examines the legacy and impact of the work of the Afro-American Bicentennial Corporation (ABC) in Washington, DC. It illustrates how the ABC set the precedent for a more nuanced understanding of the American past, expanding the National Park Service’s inclusion of Black historic landmarks twenty-fold.
Existing in-Between: Spatial Precarity in Literature and Art - (Feb 11, 1:30-4:30pm) - Panel Discussion sponsored in collaboration with the Weitzman School of Design, the Kelly Writers House, the Middle East Center, and the Office of the Provost Excellence through Diversity Fund. This cross-disciplinary panel discussion is part of a series coordinated by Weitzman to discuss diverse perspectives and to consider how times of crisis and precarity challenge realities. Registration available here: https:/jupenn.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV 3smlbcoKgz7yTxl.
Events - Fall 2020 (online)
Below are some of the Weitzman School events in fall 2020 supporting discussions and activities relating to equality, social justice, and diversity in many forms within our disciplines.Events are updated at the beginning of the term and additions to this list should be sent to the Weitzman Diversity Coordinator at email@example.com.
Fall 2020 (Note: Penn's commitment to health and safety during the global pandemic means that in-person events are not possible in fall 2020. Fall 2020 events are being held online during this time)
- Faculty Workshop: Discourse Across Difference - (Aug 6 +17, 2020) - Includes a short overview of the literature on patterns of latent bias in our academic life, educational and climate implications, and ways to support students and colleagues as we grapple with the inequities of our culture. While not exclusively about race-based patterns of discrimination, it includes strategies for teaching and talking about and across race, including classroom scenarios to consider.
- Weitzman New Student Orientation - (Aug 28, 2020) - New student orientation includes sesisons on "International Student Orientation to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging," "Engaging Design and Designing Engagement," and "Broadening Your Perspectives: Implicit Bias, Privilege, and Microaggressions."
- Weitzman Students of Color: Meet-n-Greet (Date TBA) - The DEI Committee presents a welcome to our students of color (new and returning) with an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other. We ask students to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Weitzman LGBQT Students: Meet-n-Greet (Date TBA) - The DEI Committee presents a welcome to our students of color (new and returning) with an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other. We ask students to RSVP to email@example.com.
- Development and Alumni Relations presents: Activism in Practice: A Conversation with two of the founders of Women in Design (1999-2000) (Sept 29 2020)
- Esra Akcan: Right-to-Heal: Architecture and Transitional Justice (Oct 5 2020) Akcan’s research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia, and offers new ways to understand architecture’s global movement, as well as its complicit or constitutive role in global, social and environmental justice.
- Monument Lab Town Hall: Shaping the Past Symposium (Oct 8-9) - This project facilitates a transnational exchange program bringing artists and activists together in dialogue to highlight ongoing critical memory interventions in sites and spaces in North America and Germany.
- Brent Leggs | Out of Culture and Preservation, a Racial and Economic Justice Movement
- Dr. Destiny Thomas | In Search of Our Mother's Urbanism: A Womanist Call for Spatial Reparations (Oct 12 2020) Dr. Destiny Thomas is the founder and CEO of Thrivance Group, a multi-regional, socially responsible firm that works to make public spaces and public services safe, healthy and accessible, especially for Black, Indigenous, and transgender people, and those with disabilities.
- Diana Fernandez and Einat Rosenkrantz | Heterogeneous Futures (Oct 15 2020) - Lectures focusing on landscape and urban planning designs from work done by Sasaki Associates. Authors talk about social and spacial equity and the meaning of community engagement
- Andrea Roberts | The Freedom Colony Repertoire: Promising Approaches to Bridging and Bonding Social Capital between Urban and Rural Black Meccas (Oct 21 2020) The author engageis in an ethnographic study of rural freedom colonies (settlements Black Texans founded 1865-1930). Results indicate that, for African Americans, embodying urban-rural liminality is an existential space of opportunity and ingenuity.
- Activ-ISM series - As part of raising consciousness about design justice, the Department of Landscape Architecture devoted the fall 2020 seven-part lecture series (Activ-ISM) to talks regarding activist practices and community engagement.
- Annie Jean-Baptiste, Google’s head of Product Inclusion (Date TBA) - Jean-Baptiste will discuss her work and her new book, Buiding for Everyone.
- Sophie Hochhäusl: Memories of the Resistance: The Defiant Life of a Female Architect, 1938-1945 (Nov 2, 2020)
Future + Current- Black Lunch Table (Nov 12 2020)- Black Lunch Table’s (BLT) primary aim is the production of discursive sites, wherein artists and local community members engage in dialogue on a variety of critical issues. Black Lunch Table will guide us in a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to highlight and elevate the representation of Black artists on Wikimedia
“The diversity of our university must reflect the diversity of the world around it – and the diversity of the world that we want our students to lead.” - Amy Gutmann, President
- Diversity at Penn https://diversity.upenn.edu/diversity-at-penn
- Programs https://diversity.upenn.edu/programs
- Resources https://diversity.upenn.edu/resources
- New & Events https://diversity.upenn.edu/news-and-events
- Campaign for Community https://provost.upenn.edu/campaign-community
- Fontaine Society https://www.graduateadmissions.upenn.edu/community/fontaine_society/about/
Fontaine Fellowships support the education of the most underrepresented groups in PhD education. In 1970 an endowment was established posthumously in honor of Dr. William Fontaine, Professor of Philosophy, the first African-American appointed to the Standing Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. From its inception, the endowment, known as the “Fontaine Fellowship” has been used to advance the University’s goals related to diversity. Originally restricted to students from groups “traditionally and historically underrepresented” in higher education – specifically U.S. African American, Native American, and Hispanic students – diversity is now more broadly defined, and may include, for example, first-generation college students who are from low income families, or students whose backgrounds are most underrepresented in a specific discipline or field.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Tutoring Center
- Weingarten Learning Resources Center
- Greenfield Intercultural Center
- LGBT Center
- La Casa Latina
- Association for Senior and Emeritus Faculty
- Faculty Senate
- FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women
- Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty
- Penn Forum for Women Faculty
- Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity and Equity
- Penn Center for Teaching and Learning
Articles regarding Inclusive Teaching
- Inclusive Teaching – Penn Center for Teaching and Learning: https://www.ctl.upenn.edu/inclusive-teachi
- Inclusive Teaching / Evidence Based Practices – Penn Center for Teaching and Learning: https://www.ctl.upenn.edu/evidence-based-strategies-and-practices
- Teaching beyond the Gender Binary – Vanderbilt University: https://cft.vanderbilt.edu//cft/teaching-beyond-the-gender-binary-in-the-university-classroom/
- How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive - The Chronicle of Higher Education: https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/20190719_inclusive_teaching
- Eight Actions to Reduce Racism in College Classrooms - AAUP (Book suggestions at the end):https://www.aaup.org/comment/3881#.XV1l1Ht7m70
- A Welcoming Classroom – The Chronicle of Higher Education: https://www.chronicle.com/article/A-Welcoming-Classroom/241294?cid=wcontentgrid_hp_9
- Don't Dismiss Safe Spaces https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/29/opinion/safe-spaces-campus.html?auth=login-email&login=email
- ‘Ask Me’: What LGBTQ Students Want Their Professors to Know https://www.chronicle.com/article/Ask-Me-What-LGBTQ/232797
The following professional resources may be useful for those who want to connect with organizations serving the architectural, urban planning, design, landscape architecure, fine arts or preservation professions. Additional links can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a funding initiative aimed at protecting and restoring African American historic sites and uncovering hidden stories of African Americans connected to historic sites across the nation.
American Institute of Architects (AIA) advocates for the value of architecture and to give architects the resources they need to do their best work.
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Center for Civic Leadership
American Institute for Architects (AIA) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
American Institute for Architects (AIA) Guides for Equitable Practice
Guides for understanding and building equity in the architecture profession
American Planning Association (APA) is a professional organization representing the field of urban planning in the United States.
APA Planning and the Black Community Division (PBCD) of the American Planning Association provides a forum for planners, administrators, public officials, students, and other interested individuals to address issues of significance to the black community.
American Institute for Conservation Architecture Specialty Group (ASG) develops and promotes the conservation of immovable cultural property such as buildings, monuments, outdoor sculpture, and related heritage sites.
American Society of Lansdscape Architects (ASLA) advances landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of the mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs the programs and operations.
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Diversity Summit brings together a group of experienced and emerging landscape architects who identify as African American or Latinx to develop strategies that address diversity issues in the field.
Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility works for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities.
Association of Architecture Organizations conducts public programs that serve nonprofit architectural organizations and interested individuals.
College Art Association of America (CAA) promotes the visual arts and their understanding through advocacy, intellectual engagement, and a commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners.
College Art Association of America (CAA) Committee on Diversity Practices promotes artistic, curatorial, scholarly, and institutional practices that deepen appreciation of political and cultural heterogeneity as educational and professional values.
National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) exists to champion diversity within the design professions by promoting the excellence, community engagement, and professional development of its members.
National Organization of Minority Architects - Philadelphia Chapter (PHILANOMA) advances the cause, promotes the development, and addresses concerns of minority design professionals.
National Trust for Historic Preservation protects significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support.
National Urban League strives to enable African American and other underserved urban residents to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation, and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes, and urbanism worldwide.
Moelis Scholars Program
Beginning fall 2019, as part of an ongoing effort to support diversity within the Weitzman School, the Department of City and Regional Planning launched the Moelis Scholars Program, open to African-American and Latinx students who are thinking about pursuing careers in housing and community and economic development. The Moelis Scholars Program supports students of color in the Master of City Planning program with tuition remission, mentoring, and other benefits. The goal is not just to bring people from a range of backgrounds into the planning discipline, but to help them find a way into the private development world as well, says Ron Moelis (C’78 W’78), CEO and founding partner of L+M Development Partners and the primary supporter of this fellowship program. Meet the first Moelis Scholars here.
Penn Planning Equity Initiative
The Penn Planning Equity Initiative is an effort throughout the Department of City and Regional Planning to address equity topics.
Inequality is higher and more widespread today than when first documented a hundred years ago.Inequality undercuts global economic performance and impacts the social cohesion and the well-being of tens of millions of people around the world.
The Penn Planning Equity Initiative has three components
- Redefining planning research and practice: capacity-building;
- Promoting action research and its application;understanding and addressing inequality; and
- Stimulating public dialogue: disseminating new knowledge
Together, these complementary activities fortify the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design’s leadership in this area, making it the “go to place” on issues of urban inequality in Philadelphia and across the globe.
Historic Preservation: Racial and Social Equity Resource List
The Historic Preservaion Program is working to make room for the voices that have previously been excluded from the national narrative and fight the prejudice and intolerance that cuts across our towns and cities. They have gathered these resources regarding racial and social equity, relating to the preservation field, including a variety of media including books, articles, websites, podcasts, and films, categorized for easier discovery. When possible, they have provided links for purchase of these books from local Philadelphia, black-owned bookshops and encourage support of local businesses, especially as many begin to reopen their brick and mortar locations. This is by no means an exhaustive list and they welcome addition resources on an ongoing basis. https://www.design.upenn.edu/historic-preservation/racial-and-social-equ...
Inclusion in Design
Inclusion in Design is a student-led group that seeks to foster an environment in which students of color, marginalized identities, and allies can thrive. (Marginalized identities include: racial, ethnic, sexual minorities, disabled students, international students etc.) They have organized lunchtime presenters, town halls, a student PechaKucha event, and are working on ways to build connection across the Weitzman design community. Please e-mail email@example.com for any inquiries.
Design in Latin America
Design in Latin America is a student-led group created to share the vibrant, diverse, and singular Latin American cultures with students, faculty members, staff, and the general community at the Weitzman School. Their misson is to address Latin American topics to foster a reciprocal cultural exchange within the Weitzman School, and with other Latin American organizations, on campus and beyond; particularly with students, scholars, researchers, and professionals whose work is informed by, and/or contribute to understand, appreciate and enhance Latin American diversity and address the region’s pending challenges. "The term 'Latin America' was created in early-nineteenth-century France to advance a collective 'Latin' identity rooted in culture, and ever since, it has been enriched, reinforced, questioned, and challenged by theoretical and practical assemblies that emphasize cultural, political, historical, and economic aspects of the region," - Patricio del Real
Women in Architecture
Since the fall of 2016, the Penn Women in Architecture group has been actively examining this historically male dominated profession while providing networking and mentorship opportunities to members. The goal is to mobilize a community of designers and thinkers with the purpose of increasing the incidence and visibility of women in architecture. Their hope is to bring awareness to the gender disparity that exists in the profession and empower each other by fostering growth, promoting success, and above all, cultivating the next generation of female leaders in the profession.
Women in Architecture hosted their first symposium on Women in Architecture, [RE]FORM: The Framework, Fallout & Future of Women in Design, in spring of 2017, as well as several other networking and social events. The next year, they presented a symposium titled [RE]ACTION: Empowering the Future Leaders in Design. Organized by students, this full day workshop featured opportunities for attendees to develop skills to take charge of their careers. Topics included negotiating offers, networking for impact, knowing your rights, navigating construction sites, and vocal empowerment - as well as a panel discussion about navigating architecture and entrepreneurship.
QueerDesign is a student-run group at the Weitzman School, created to build a community of LGBTQ+ designers to support a space of exchange and judgment free collaboration. Aiming to foster discussions about the meaning of diversity and its intersection with design at Penn and beyond, QueerDesign hopes to connect to existing networks of students and professionals. In addition, the organization explores a number of facets of queer culture and history, specifically within the realm of design. At Penn, QueerDesign partners with other groups on campus to curate a variety of social, educational, and professional events.
Urban China Collective
Established in October 2017, the Urban China Collective (UCC) is a student-run group which serves as a platform to foster understanding of China’s urban development through lectures and workshops at Penn. They seek to strengthen the network of scholars, practitioners, and students devoted to studying China’s urbanization across disciplines and institutions both within Penn community and beyond.
Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity
The Weitzman School is pleased to work with the Provost's Office in support of the Penn Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity Program. This is a competitive program whose goal is to increase the diversity of the community of scholars devoted to academic research at the University of Pennsylvania. We seek to attract promising researchers and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and other diverse populations whose life experience, research experience and employment background will contribute significantly to their academic missions. We are pleased to currently host Matt Miller as our Postdoctoral Fellow in City and Regional Planning for a three-year term, and to recognize that current lecturer, Akira Drake Rodriguez, joined the Department of City and Regional Planning via this Provost initiative.
Archive of Past Events
Below are some of our past events promoting discussions relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion:
Spring 2020 (During the spring 2020 term, Penn took steps to protect the health and well-being of our community in response to the global coronavirus outbreak. Eliminating large gatherings meant that many events were cancelled.)
- Eric Höweler: Forms of Engagement (January 22, 2020)
- Rethinking Facadism: Materiality and the Politicization of Historic Structures (January 23, 2020)
- Historic Preservation: Challenges and Opportunities in Philadelphia Today (January 29, 2020)
- Lecture Series on the Synthetic: Denice Frohman (February 4, 2020)
- Common Press Series: Activist Poster Printing, Exhibit, & Panel Discussion
- Activist Poster Printing (February 7 & 9, 2020)
- Panel discussion: "At the Intersection of Art & Activism: A Conversation with Josh MacPhee, Mabel Negrete, and Heidi Ratanavanich."
- Exhibit - We are the Storm / Migration Now (January 20 - March 8, 2020) With a focus on climate justice and migration, the exhibit highlights political graphics intended to inspire action, raise awareness, and support social, environmental, and political engagement.
- Community Wealth Building: The Way Forward (March 5, 2020) - Penn IUR hosted a special lecture by Marc Morial, President, National Urban League, on building wealth in minority communities.
- Esra Akcan: Right-to-Heal: Architecture and Transitional Justice cancelled for spring 2020 - Consider new ways to understand the global movement of architecture and advocate a commitment to new ethics of hospitality and global justice.
- Sophie Hochhäusl: Memories of the Resistance: The Defiant Life of a Female Architect, 1938-1945 cancelled for spring 202
- Lizbeth Cohen: “Saving America’s Cities: A New Look at Urban Renewal” cancelled for spring 2020
- The Freedom Colony Repertoire: Promising Approaches to Bridging and Bonding Social Capital between Urban and Rural Black Meccas cancelled for spring 2020
Mimi Hoang and Eric Bunge: Buildings and Almost Buildings (Sept 4, 2019) - tackling pressing issues that our cities face: how we live, work and activate public spaces in response to our nation’s changing demographics, housing shortage, evolving workplace technologies and need for equality in the public realm.
Weitzman Admissions at National Organization of Minorty Architects (NOMA) (Oct 18, 2019) Brooklyn, NY
Weitzman Students of Color: Meet-n-Greet reception with the Dean (Sept 9, 2019)
Annie Jean-Baptiste, Google’s head of Product Inclusion (Sept 24, 2019) spoke about her experiences and initiatives at Googl
Weitzman Admissions at the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education (Oct 27, 2019) Sonoma State University
Lecture Series on the Synthetic: Charles Davis and Solmaz Sharif in Conversation (Nov 4, 2019) - A conversation between poet Solmaz Sharif and architectural historian Charles Davis.
- Change Over Time Dialogues: LGBTQ Heritage (Nov 5, 2019) - Published to coincide with of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, this issue explores the theoretical and practical dimensions of preserving the sites and places of an historically invisible and transient history.
- City Planning Talk with Ellen Dunham Jones (Nov 7, 2019) Ellen Dunham Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech, spoke about “Retrofitting Suburbia for 21st Century Challenges."
- Alumni Event: Weitzman Office of Alumni Relations hosts Alumni of Color Reception: City Planning (Nov 8, 2019) - Alumni of Color Reception at the home of Lisa Servon.
- Women [Re]Build: Stories, Polemics, Futures (Nov 11, 2019) - Book Launch for Women [Re]Build: Stories, Polemics, Futures, edited by Associate Professor Franca Trubiano and Weitzman School alumnae Ramona Adlakha (MArch'18) and Ramune Bartuskait (MArch'18).
- Student group Design in Latin America hosted a talk by Pablo Meninato from Temple University on Interventions in Informal settlements in Latin American countries. (Nov 13, 2019
- Financial Inclusion: Finding Funding Domestically and Internationally (Nov 20, 2019) - This event seeks to bridge any information gap on financial resources, especially for underrepresented students.
- Building Resilience in Design (Tuesday January 22, 2019)
- Manon Otto: Landscape Architecture for Architects - Understanding the Benefits and Challenges of Integrated Multidisciplinarity (Thursday, January 24, 2019)
- Yue Zhang: Villages in the City - China's Dual-track Urbanization and Implications for Urban Planning (Monday January 28, 2019)
- Town Hall for Weitzman Students of Color (January 31, 2019) Inclusion in Design student group hosts an informal lunch discussion and town hall with members of the Weitzman School community.
- Sachs Visiting Professor Lecture: Ralph Lemon (February 7, 2019)
- Marcy Rockman: Social Ecosystems, Policy Interface, and other Unexpected Contributions of Cultural Heritage for the Challenges of Climate Change (Tuesday, February 26, 2019)
- Susannah C. Drake: Regenerative Urbanism - Activating Latent Infrastructure in the Post Industrial City (February 21, 2019)
- Inclusion in Design, the Weitzman School Student Group Lunch Discussion (February 26, 2019)
- Fine Arts Lecture: Troy Michie (Feburary 28, 2019)
- Change Over Time Dialogues: Gentrification and Heritage Conservation (March 12, 2019)
- Tamika Butler Lecture: Beyond Complete Streets (Monday March 18, 2019)
- Exhibition: Black Urbanism:YR-001 (February 7 - April 8, 2019)
- Nancy Levinson: Design and the Public Scholar (Tuesday March 19, 2019)
- Fine Arts Lecture: Sable Elyse Smith (March 14, 2019)
- Architecture Lecture: Elizabth Diller (Monday, March 18, 2019)
- Monuments and Memorials (Tuesday, March 26, 2019)
- Fine Arts Lecture: Fred Moten (March 28, 2019)
- Architecture KPF Lecture: Farshid Moussavi "Architecture and Micropolitics" (Wednesday April 3, 2019)
- Can We Create Communities for All? Women in Planning (Thursday, April 11, 2019) Cosponsored by Inclusion By Design group, the Weitzman School Social Justice Club, and the Community Impact Fund.
- Marybeth Gasman, Professor (GSE) and Director of Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions presenting to the Weitzman School Faculty Meeting
- Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon Series at Fisher Fine Arts Library (April 2019) Three consecutive Fridays; each edit-a-thon will focus on illuminating the art and artists from African American communities and the African Diaspora; Latin America; and cis and transgender women and non-binary folks respectively.
- Minority/Underrepresented Professionals in City Planning Discussion (April 17, 2019)
- The Cunningham Lecture in Architecture: Jha D Williams (April 17, 2019)
- Designing the Political Landscape: Activism and Urbanism in the Trump Era (August 30, 2018)
- Erica Kohl-Arenas - Radical Politics Off the (Non-Profit Industrial Complex) Grid (Sept 25, 2018)
- Social Justice: Civil Conversations---Sidling Up to Difference (Sept 18, 2018)
- PennDesign Students of Color Breakfast (Sept 21, 2018)
- Learning from LGBTQ Places: Thoughts on Heritage and Preservation (Sept 25, 2018)
- Mabel O. Wilson: Memory/Race/Nation - The Politics of Modern Memorials (Sept 26, 2018)
- Gary Wozniak: Recovery Park and Recovery Park Farm (Oct 11, 2018)
- Women in Planning Panel (Oct 18, 2018)
- PennDesign Admissions at the NOMA Graduate School Fair in Chicago, IL (Oct 19, 2018)
- PennDesign students are invited to the Penn Queer Grads of Color Dinner & Social (Oct 26, 2018)
- PennDesign Admissions at the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education (Oct 27, 20
- SPRING ADVANCE PREVIEW EVENT: ELECTIVES + STUDENT GROUPS; FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, SOCIAL IMPACT, + INTERDISCIPLINARY OPTIONS (Thursday November 1, 2018)
- Portraits of Justice Symposium (Nov 2, 2018)nt in American history.
- Inclusion in Design, Student Group, Guest Lecture by John Puckett (November 13, 2018)
- Artist Talk - Devin Kenny (Nov 29, 2018)
- Manuel Pastor: Conversation with Dean Frederick Steiner on Social and Environmental Justice (Jan 22, 2018)
- Sierra Bainbridge, MASS Design Group Work and Ideas (Jan 30, 2018)
- Francine Houben: People, Place, Purpose (Feb 5, 2018)
- The Weitzman School Student Town Hall on Diversity (Feb 23, 2018)
- Immigration Past, Present, Future: A Discussion with Domenic Vitiello (Feb 28, 2018)
- ICA Artist Talk: Cameron Rowland (Mar 1, 2018)
- Edwin Melendez Talk: Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (Mar 12, 2018)
- Beyond Mobility Urban Book Talk (Mar 14, 2018)
- [RE]ACTION: Empowering the Future Leaders in Design (Mar 20, 2018)
- Fisher Fine Arts Library: Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (Mar 23, 2018)
- FALL ADVANCE PREVIEW EVENT: ELECTIVES + STUDENT GROUPS - FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, SOCIAL IMPACT, + INTERDISCIPLINARY OPTIONS (Tuesday March 27, 2018)
- Conversation about welcoming LGBQT students into our community (Tuesday April 3, 2018)
- Symposium: Structural Instability (Apr 5 + 6, 2018)
- Faculty Chat regarding Diversifying Course Content (April 5, 2018)
- Penn IUR hosts The Fair Housing Act at 50 (April 11, 2018) www.design.upenn.edu/news/post/scholars-gather-fair-housing-symposium
- Mario Romañach and Latin America Modernism (April 16, 2018)
- Domenic Vitiello: The Sanctuary City (Sept 7, 2017)
- 'A Worker’s Lunch Box’ Film Screening and Panel Discussion (Sept 13, 2017)
- Design Manifestos! What does community engaged design mean to you? (Sept 14, 2017)
- Power + Privilege + Positionality, Radical Inclusion, and Designing for Justice
- Monument Lab: Monumental Project Rethinks Public Art in Philadelphia (Sept 16 - Nov 19, 2017)
- September 16 – November 19 – ongoing public art exhibition, with multiple public events
- Main Streets Now: Preservation-Based Community Revitalization in the New Economy (Sept 19, 2017)
- A Conversation with Mindy Fullilove (Oct 11, 2017)
- NOMA Graduate School Fair Houston, TX (Oct 13, 2017)
Graduate School Fair at the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) annual international conference
- Admissions Event: Between Rural and Urban Communities: New Models for Community-Engaged Design, Art, and Economic Development in Rural New York State (Oct 16, 2017)
- Sharon Sutton: When Ivory Towers Were Black (Lessons in Re-Imagining Universities and Communities) (Nov 2, 2017)
- Admissions Event: California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education Camarillo, CA (Nov 4, 2017)
- Spring Preview: Electives + Student Groups (Nov 7, 2017) Focus on Diversity, Social Impact, + Interdisciplinary Options
- City Planning Poetics 4: Urban Memory (Nov 13, 2017)
Dean Steiner sent the following message to the PennDesign community on Monday, March 20, 2017.
Dear PennDesign Community,
Immigration policy affects all of us, and because the stakes are so high, many of us have felt compelled to affirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion publicly. One forum for doing this is the grassroots social media campaign #YouAreWelcomeHere. The campaign has been championed by schools and other organizations across the country as both a pledge to international students considering study in the U.S. and an affirmation of current students’ invaluable contribution to our communities.
I invite you to add your voice to the campaign and send a message of inclusion. PennDesign’s communications staff are distributing #YouAreWelcomeHere signs throughout Meyerson, Morgan, and Addams over the coming days for everyone’s use. PennDesign will also have signs and a photographer at Happy Hour on Friday, March 24, and the Faculty Meeting on Wednesday, April 19. As President Gutmann wrote last month, “It has never been more vital for us to come together, as one community, to find strength in our diversity.”