ASLA Celebrates Black History Month

Howard University campus, Washington, D.C.
Howard University’s Washington. D.C. campus, designed by landscape architect David Williston / image: © Nikolaus Fogle, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation

With the conclusion of Black History Month, ASLA would like to highlight ways to stay engaged year round with our efforts to continue fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within our profession, membership, and leadership; mirror the communities we serve; welcome and serve all people and communities; and treat them fairly and equitably.

ASLA Diversity Summit

Since 2013 ASLA has convened an annual diversity summit to strengthen its focus on the recruitment underrepresented populations into academic programs and development of emerging professionals as practitioners. Visit ASLA’s Diversity Summit webpage to learn about this popular event, access resources, and view a summary of action items identified in 2018 to help achieve five-year goals established at the 2017 Super Summit. The 2019 Diversity Summit is scheduled for May 17-19, 2019 at ASLA headquarters.

Career Discovery and Diversity

Exposure and access are key to motivating the career aspirations of all students, and ASLA is boosting its commitment to provide more career discovery resources that promote landscape architecture. Below are a few highlights of ASLA rich collection of career discovery resources available to educators, families and students:

ASLA has also expanded its partnerships to groups that prioritize diversity and inclusion and also focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning:

ASLA at the STEM Fair: How Women Work in the Design and Building Industry at the District Architecture Center on January 26, 2019 / image: Lisa J. Jennings

Get involved! Follow ASLA’s Career Discovery and Diversity activities and gain fresh insight on ways you can inspire the next generation of landscape architects:

If you have questions, contact ASLA’s Career Discovery and Diversity Manager, Lisa J. Jennings at

Designing for Diversity and Diversity in Design

This 2016 plenary—aimed at ASLA members and landscape architecture students—hosted a dynamic and diverse panel who discussed the importance of fostering diversity in design and urban policy. This conversation continues to drive ASLA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and has inspired chapter-level engagement.

Black Landscape Architects Network (BLAN)

In 2010, Perry Howard, FASLA, 2007-2008 ASLA President, Karen Phillips, FASLA, and Glenn LaRue Smith, ASLA, organized a meeting of black landscape architects to coincide with the ASLA’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Since then, BLAN has become a respected and established “platform to provide a free and open platform for idea sharing as well as key discussions specifically relevant to landscape architects of African heritage.”

Photo courtesy Harvard Graduate School of Design. Photographer: Zara Tzanev

Black in Design

The Black in Design Conference is a biennial event that focuses on uncovering the complex dialogues related to the intersection of design and black identity. Hosted at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University by the African American Student Union (AASU), the conference highlighted the works of emerging and seasoned design professionals, activists, artists, and educators whose common goals challenge Eurocentric methods of design, education, and engagement to create spaces and places for all people. For more information, visit the Black in Design website to watch recordings from the 2017 conference, and for the 2019 conference announcement.

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