Making Change | A Celebration of Women In Leadership

The month of September has been focused on celebrating women in leadership. SHAKE which stands for Service, Honesty, Adaptability, Kindness and Experience is the standard which Urban Design Perspectives stands by in our practice. We use these values to achieve client service delivery. This includes engaging with the community in ways that foster knowledge and growth. UDP held our first community engagement event honoring two local legends and celebrating their achievements as women of color. Additionally, we wrapped up the month with the 6th annual AIA Women’s Leadership Summit which was hosted in Minneapolis. As a minority, woman-owned firm, the celebration of women’s achievements and impact made on communities is imperative as we continue moving our practice forward.

Urban Design Perspectives partnered with Common Sense Consulting (also a WMBE) to host a discussion with Dr. Reatha Clark King and Dr. Josie Johnson. The event, titled “Traveling the Uncharged Path”, was held in honor of these living legends to listen to their stories of triumph within their careers and the lessons they learned along the way. Dr. King, an accomplished scientist recognized for her contributions to NASA’s Apollo 11 mission and Dr. Johnson, a prolific civil rights activist shared some of their most compelling stories as it pertained to their navigation through adverse paths within their fields. Not only was this event an opportunity to celebrate these incredible women and their extraordinary contributions to society, it was also a call-to-action for everyone in attendance to get involved and continue opening doors for the following generations. These women are effectively passing the torch, empowering everyone to get involved in building a more equitable world.

Closing out the month of September was the 2019 AIA Women’s Leadership Summit. With themes to Reframe, Rethink and Refresh, this year’s summit fostered inspirational discussions with women in the architecture field at all stages. The summit brought in about 750 women from around the world with attendees ranging from young women still in undergrad to those who have been licensed and practicing for many years. The Women’s Leadership Summit fostered an encouraging environment that provided opportunities for everyone to learn, share and connect with one another. Urban Design Perspectives was honored to be selected as one of the 10 firms to host a happy hour for 17 visiting women. We had the opportunity to showcase our methodology for how we approach our practice. From the standpoint of equitable leadership, our firm has been able to align our personal values with our professional goals. This event was a great opportunity to learn from each other and build meaningful connections with others in the field.

Overall the month of September was one that sparked excitement and inspiration as we at Urban Design Perspectives continue to engage, collaborate and celebrate women.

Pressing toward sustainability,

UDP, Jessica Holmes