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“Nothing about us, without us, is for us.”Against the backdrop of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, Steven Lewis grew up watching his father lead a Black-led architecture firm in New York City—something almost unheard of back then.
Even now, less than 8% of registered architects identify as a minority while 40% of Americans identify as such. Through his father’s work, Steven gained a rare perspective on why urban planning projects designed by those from similar backgrounds as the people they’re built for create stronger communities. He also saw how encouraging diversity at work and beyond is better for business and our collective futures.
Recommended For YouToday, Steven is an award-winning architect who carries on his father’s legacy as a principal at ZGF Architects, past president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and the former Urban Design Director for the City of Detroit. He also advocates for greater diversity, equity, and empathy not only in architecture and urban planning but within every industry.
“Without understanding, which leads to empathy and compassion at the level of the individual,” says Steven, “anything that an organization tries to build will be unstable.”
Inclusive Urban Planning Works for …
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