by Ali Horwitz
The Boston Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (BosNOMA) holds a critical responsibility in Boston’s larger building and design community to foster the advancement of equitable practice and minority leadership. In 2020, a year many will view as one of fear and regression, BosNOMA focused its attention on creating a safe and supportive space for minority students and professionals in the design industry to work together toward a better future. Under the collaborative leadership of the executive board (Ali Horwitz, president; Gerard Georges, co-chair; Rima Abousleiman, treasurer; Elyse Ayoung, parliamentarian; Julian Phillips, secretary; Ryan Horton, brand ambassador; and Edward “Tony” Ransom, immediate past president, now NE region vice president), BosNOMA expanded membership fourfold and continues to grow.
Through a year of challenges and uncertainty, BosNOMA has worked to reimagine the future of architecture by questioning our assumptions and expanding our perspectives. What does it mean to be an architect? Who can be an architect, and why? How can architects and other design professionals impact policies and alter practices to affect change? How can we imagine a just future without understanding our history? Through a series of brave conversations inspired by NOMA National’s B.R.A.V.E. statement on racial justice, guest presentations, workshops, and podcasts, our membership has critically examined new ways of thinking about our industry and inspired leaders to act.
Looking to the second half of 2021, BosNOMA will be aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of architects and designers of color. From August 19-21, BosNOMA will host its first Project Pipeline virtual camp in collaboration with PhilaNOMA, NYCOBA NOMA, and NJNOMA. Over three days of virtual activities, architecture and design professionals and NOMAS (NOMA student chapter) members will guide students through their own design projects, set in the context of the city around them. The camp is open to minority youth ages 11-15 in the Boston area and will include a day of collaboration with young designers from Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey.
Registration is now open and the deadline to apply is June 16. The program fee is $25 per student and need-based scholarships are available. The application link and further information about the program, including sponsorship opportunities, can be found at https://www.bosnoma.org/project-pipeline.
Ali Horwitz is the 2021 BosNOMA president.