J.E.D.I. Organizations and Events

National Organization of Minority Architects to Host Annual Conference in October

Portland, OR – The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) announced it is hosting its national conference Oct. 11-15, in Portland, Ore., bringing together industry voices such as Toshiko Mori, FAIA, Nina Cooke John, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, and Olelekan Jeyifous for conversations on topics impacting BIPOC architects and the industry. The conference, Building Bridges Towards Just and Joyful Futures, will bring more than 1,200 NOMA members, partners and allies together from 38 states, one U.S. territory and four countries, at its third sold-out conference. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage in thought-provoking seminar sessions, connect with industry experts and celebrate member achievements, while also addressing the need for a more inclusive and diverse architecture industry. Registration is still available for virtual attendance.

“We gather as distinguished leaders in the profession to address topics that impact and fuel BIPOC communities and to shine a light on the issues that influence and affect us personally and professionally,” said Pascale Sablan, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP, 2023-2024 NOMA president and associate principal at Adjaye Associates. “Hearing perspectives from field allies and voices such as Toshiko Mori, Nina Cooke John and Olelekan Jeyifous serves to inspire, motivate and challenge NOMA membership as we continue to push forward to address industry challenges and fight to achieve equal representation in the field.”

Held at the Hilton Portland Downtown and organized by NOMA national staff, volunteers and the NOMA Portland (PDX) chapter, the five-day conference theme was inspired by the collection of 12 bridges in Portland, connecting the east and west sides of the city. Building Bridges Towards Just and Joyful Futures is a reminder that NOMA has created a rich organization steeped in history, leaning on its members to overcome significant barriers and continuing to build bridges over various forms of oppression. Attendees will delve into sessions that focus on the profound impact the built environment plays in creating inclusivity and accessibility, paving a way for a  healthier, more just and equitable future.

“This is a community where innovation, inclusivity and inspiration intersect,” said Tiffany Brown, MBA, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, NOMA executive director. “Portland has warmly welcomed us, and it’s important we host our annual conference in cities with a strong membership presence and where we can showcase the power and beauty of design.”

Portland is also the location of the 1968 American Institute of Architects Convention where civil rights activist Whitney M. Young Jr. delivered the critical keynote address that challenged architects to address issues of diversity and social responsibility in the profession—a wake-up call to the industry. This is the first time NOMA is hosting its conference Portland, more than 50 years after the organization’s founding and motivated by that historical moment.

The conference will include two keynotes and over 50 educational sessions featuring a variety of disciplines and experts, including architects, urbanists, landscape designers, and urban planners. Sessions offer continuing education credits approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).