- Increase investment in anti-racism and diversity education
- Hold lecture series and trainings, hosting external speakers to discuss implicit bias at firmwide staff meetings.
- Host a forum focused on how to be an advocate for change through individual practice and civic engagement.
- Facilitate informal opportunities for discussions that might not occur organically, such as small group lunches and a book club to discuss issues of race.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Hord Coplan Macht
Reflection and Commitment
We have reflected and talked with each other about the senseless tragedies that are emblematic of the structural racism and discrimination that exists today against those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). We recognize that the legacy of centuries of social and economic injustice continues to afflict our society. We acknowledge that implicit bias and systemic privilege are pervasive issues that need to be tackled in order to achieve meaningful change. We know we must do our part to amplify Black voices. We understand that, in order to engage in non-optical allyship, anti-racism must be a consideration in each of our interactions and decisions. There can be no tolerance for any form of racism at any level or in any community.
Hord Coplan Macht was founded on principles of fairness, empathy and community, and we take pride in the way our firm culture always has embodied these values. As with everything we do, we are striving to improve, and we realize the need to push forward our tenets and focus our attention even more on anti-racism. We recognize that, in light of recent events, each of us must look inward to assess what more we can do to address the injustices that have disproportionately affected the Black community for so long. We are listening to and learning from our BIPOC colleagues. There is an abundance of resources available to each of us on the history of, and current issues with, civil rights and anti-racism. We must do the work as individuals to educate ourselves on the Black experience in this country and in our profession.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community and we are committed to taking an intentional approach with our efforts to assist communities generally that suffer from racial discrimination. In our profession and as individuals, we aspire to do more to eliminate inequality, support social justice, and change systems built on racism. To that end, our existing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (“EDI”) Group, in partnership with HCM’s senior leadership, will guide these efforts toward meaningful change. The mission of the EDI Group is to cultivate a diverse environment at HCM; to promote within the field of design, architecture and landscape architecture the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity); and to enhance the experience of our colleagues, clients and communities through ever more equitable design practices. At HCM, we have always believed that pluralism, through inclusion and advancement of diverse colleagues, inherently makes us a better firm due to the breadth of perspective that comes with it.
Actions and Initiatives
Since the firm’s inception more than 40 years ago, equity and inclusion have been at the core of HCM. We seek to continue and build upon the extensive work we do with institutions and non-profit organizations to serve our communities, including collaborations over the years with BIPOC-owned businesses and institutional leaders. To be sure, we will continue these same design-based efforts to build communities and places, with an eye toward social justice. We recognize that additional efforts are necessary in order to do our part to achieve the firm’s mission as it pertains to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. To that end, and in light of a renewed focus on anti-racism, HCM is committing to a broad set of actions and initiatives, some of which are already underway.
Outreach and Community Engagement
- Create educational opportunities
- Work with architecture education programs specifically for diverse students in grades K-8 to introduce them early on to the fields of design, architecture and landscape architecture.
- Expand mentoring across all offices to middle school and high school students in under-served communities.
- Cultivate broader and closer relationships with WBE/MBE companies
- Seek to partner with BIPOC-owned firms and team with diverse community engagement specialists for projects.
- Increase equitable design solutions in our cities and communities to create positive experiences for communities that suffer from racial or social injustice.
- Emphasize equitable design practices and challenge systemic inequities through environmental and design justice.
- Promote community-based design practices that incorporate empathy and celebrating history of place.
- Partner with our clients on diversity and inclusion initiatives in order to integrate and amplify efforts across our networks.
- Enhance civic engagement by providing all colleagues with paid time off to vote.
Recruiting and Development
- Expand the firm’s relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other higher education institutions that serve diverse communities.
- Increase engagement and talent acquisition efforts across these educational institutions.
- Establish a formal internship program with at least one HBCU or HSI.
- Increase diversity by re-thinking the hiring and promotion process criteria through a lens of diversity of perspective and experience.
- Reevaluate our mentoring and training programs to maximize our diverse colleagues’ potential for success and promotion.
- Engage with industry groups and licensing boards to reform and remove barriers to entry and accreditation, in an effort to make the profession more equitable and thereby increase the percentage of Black licensed architects.
- Take immediate steps to increase engagement between diverse colleagues and the firm’s senior management and Board of Directors, with near and longer term diversity goals for the Board.
- Include anti-discrimination statements in our contracts with clients and service providers as appropriate.
- Revisit our diversity and inclusion policies and performance review practices.
Fellowships, Scholarships and Charitable
- Expand our partnership with the National Organization of Minority Architects (“NOMA”) by hosting a NOMA Foundation Research fellow and becoming a member of NOMA’s President’s Circle.
- Extend our existing scholarship program with Morgan State University, and fund scholarship programs at other diverse-serving institutions in the communities where our offices are located.
- Focus our coordinated social responsibility engagement and charitable giving efforts on initiatives dedicated to racial, social, environmental and design justice.
It is with immediacy and humility that we are taking these actions to amplify our efforts in the name of anti-racism. We are continually striving to create a firm that exemplifies fairness and equity in all that we do. As a firm and as individuals, we are committed to choosing social justice each and every day.