Council for Diversity
& Inclusion

Mission & Charge

AAP is committed to an inclusive and diverse community and an open learning environment that is free from bias. We will not tolerate prejudice in any form or discrimination on any basis. We embrace creative and analytic practices that challenge preconceptions and prejudice; encourage critical engagement with the many forms of built culture; and defend the prerogative of our disciplines to ask difficult and provocative questions.

The Council's 5-point Charge

  • Number 1

    AAP Diversity and Inclusion Assessment Report

  • Number 2

    Student Support
    (Admissions/Retention/Career services)

  • Number 3

    Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention

  • Number 4

    Rethinking our Substantive Curriculum (Core, distribution, studios/workshops) and Co-curricular Programs (study abroad, internships, engaged work, events/talks/exhibitions)

  • Number 5

    Accountability and Redress

Context

In late fall 2019, Dean Yoon asked faculty and staff to volunteer to serve on the AAP Diversity Committee that would address a range of issues around the university’s Belonging at Cornell initiative.

At AAP, efforts toward building a community that values and welcomes diversity across our faculty, staff, and students are not entirely new nor novel. In line with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and in response to the occupation of Willard Straight Hall at Cornell, former AAP Dean Burnham Kelly worked with architecture professor Henry Richardson to form the Office of Minority Affairs in 1970. From then to now, our work toward equity has been taken up by students, faculty, and alumni groups including the Committee on Diversity that have all effected critical change. Today, we have active student organizations and services, faculty volunteerism, and strong alumni commitments to guidance, mentorship, and support for diversity and inclusion programs such as the Cornell Future Architect Award that provides greater access to architectural education and ultimately, greater diversity within the profession.

In June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd and the BLM protests that ignited a racial justice movement in the U.S. and around the world, a group of students and Black alumni came together for a conversation with Dean Yoon to propose important changes for the Department of Architecture. At the same time, students in CRP were in conversation with the department on curricular changes and other possible shifts in co-curricular programming. In a message to the AAP community titled "The Urgency of Now", Dean Yoon committed to "real conversations about race and racism in our spaces and systems, about public health and access, and about fundamental shifts in thought that are carried over into a series of tangible, meaningful actions that shape tomorrow today."

The AAP Council for Diversity and Inclusion was formed thereafter in response to urgent demands for structural changes across the college. The council's first meeting, held on June 10, 2020, included the volunteers for the original AAP Diversity Committee as well as others. A second message to the AAP community sent on June 17 laid out the 5-point charge of the Council, around which five subcommittees formed to take action and report on progress. The council is chaired by Associate Professor Neema Kudva, CRP, and Assistant Professor Samia Henni, Architecture, as co-chairs of AAP's D&I council.

Close overlay