DEI Resources

Further Reading and External Resources

Historic Preservation: Racial and Social Equity Reading List

The Department of Historic Preservation 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 a growing collection of 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 additional resources on an ongoing basis.

Student Orgranizations

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 for any inquiries. 

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. Its 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. Patricio del Real explains, "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."

Since the fall of 2016, the Penn Women in Design 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, as the group was previously known, hosted its 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.  

Womxn In Planning (WIP) is committed to lifting womxn’s voices and making visible a diversity of perspectives that can lead to a more inclusive and transformative planning practice. Part of a global movement empowering womxn to assert their right to the city, WIP positions itself as allies to female and non-binary practitioners and community leaders working across all facets of urban planning catalyze meaningful social change. The group hosts coffee chats, site visits, volunteering events, and has a Women of Penn Alumni mentorship program.

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. 

Professional Organizations

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                                                             

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.