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July 7, 2020
by AIA New York

On July 1, 2020, the AIA New York held its 153rd Annual Meeting, the first ever in a fully virtual format. The event provided a chance for members to come together and take care of Chapter business, confirming the following year’s leadership.

AIANY 2020 President Kim Yao, AIA, began the evening by calling members to combat racism in society and to dedicate attention to steps AIANY can take to address injustices in our profession. Yao acknowledged that the architecture profession has not done enough to increase the number of BIPOC architects, nor to ensure that the professional services architects provide benefit communities and not just immediate clients. She then outlined a series of immediate, medium, and long-term strategies for the Chapter as an employer and as a professional association. These actions include:

  • Establishing diversity benchmarks for staff and leadership
  • Evaluating the Chapter’s positions on city funding priorities
  • Providing anti-discriminatory and sensitivity training to staff and leadership
  • Addressing speaker parity
  • Developing programs and tools to support firms implementing change
  • Reviewing honors and awards criteria and awards names
  • Expanding mentorship opportunities
  • Supporting the architecture academy
  • Evaluating advocacy efforts to make licensure more egalitarian

Yao went on to describe the Chapter’s achievements during the first half of the year, both in person and virtual, and commended AIANY’s leadership for quickly adapting to changing circumstances. Following that, AIANY Board Secretary Scott Briggs declared the 2021 slate presented by the Nominating Committee elected by acclamation. The 2021 Board of Directors and committee members will begin serving on January 1, 2021.

The AIANY Annual Meeting concluded with the conferral of the following awards to honor those who are making a difference in the Chapter and in our great city:

Harry B. Rutkins Award: Robert Eisenstat, FAIA, LEED AP, Chief Architect, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Co-chair, AIANY Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Honorary Membership: Guy Nordenson, Partner, Guy Nordenson and Associates
Public Architect Award: Eve Michel, AIA, Chief Architect and Vice President of Development & Planning, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Andrew J. Thomas Award: Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC)
George S. Lewis Award: Andrea Woodner, Design Trust for Public Space
Special Citation: AIANY Unified Taskforce on COVID-19

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