AIA New York Launches Student Loan Relief Initiative for BIPOC Professionals

February 28, 2022

February 28, 2022, New York, NYAIA New York (AIANY) is excited to announce the launch of the 2030 Fund, which provides student loan debt relief and additional support for aspiring BIPOC architects. The 2030 Fund was established by AIANY 2021 President Kenneth A. Lewis, AIA, in collaboration with the New York Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (nycoba|NOMA).

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by young BIPOC professionals pursuing licensure, AIANY has created the 2030 Fund to address the field’s diversity problem and help build a more diverse and representative profession. According to NCARB by the Numbers 2021, people of color remain significantly underrepresented in the profession, with BIPOC only accounting for 16 percent of architects nationwide. While data on newly licensed architects and professionals pursuing licensure shows increases in racial and ethnic diversity, AIANY acknowledges that there is still a lot of work to be done to make the profession representative of the communities architects serve.

Mirroring the ambitions of NOMA’s 2030 Diversity Challenge, which calls for the doubling of licensed Black architects by the end of the decade, the 2030 Fund seeks to help diversify the profession through financial support of BIPOC architects in training. Successful awardees will receive a one-time payment of up to $2,500 towards student loans. Awardees will also receive free enrollment in the Chapter’s ARE Prep Courses and an opportunity to meet quarterly with an AIANY Mentor who will provide early career and licensure guidance.

To be considered, applicants should identify as BIPOC and must have completed a bachelor’s and/or graduate degree in any field, have an outstanding student loan balance, and be able to demonstrate a plan to pursue licensure as an architect. Applications are due April 1, 2022.

“It is a well know fact that licensure is the single-most important milestone for staying in the profession,” said Ken Lewis. “To support the goals of the 2030 Challenge, we at AIANY believe that the 2030 Fund will help bolster that pipeline, helping to create a more representative and pluralistic profession.” 

Funding for the 2030 Fund has been provided by the 2021 President’s Circle:

Sciame; SOM

Ennead Architects LLP; Longman Lindsey; Perkins Eastman Architects DPC; Rafael Viñoly Architects P.C.; Sage and Coombe Architects; Workshop/APD

Esteban & Company; AKF Group LLC; Architecture Research Office; Arup Consulting Engineers; Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners; Dattner Architects; Desai Chia Architecture PC; FXCollaborative; Gensler; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Langan; Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects; Perkins and Will; Platt Byard Dovell White Architects; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; STUDIOS Architecture; Thornton Tomasetti; Zetlin & De Chiara, LLP

Brandon Haw, AIA; Capalino + Company; Cooper Robertson & Partners; Eve B. Klein, Assoc. AIA; Henry Zachary; James Carpenter Design Associates Inc.; JFK&M Consulting Group; Michael E. Plottel, FAIA, LEED AP; Thomas R. Krizmanic, AIA; Tillotson Design

About AIA New York
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects with more than 5,500 architect, allied professional, student, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development.


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