Making a Difference, Close to Home

Every day it seems we're inundated with news that makes us question what's happening, what it all means, and how we can help. It doesn’t seem hard to know how to react, but it is difficult to imagine how you can make a difference. If you're part of the design and construction industry in Southern California, we have a few ideas for making a difference, right here at home.

The Association for Women in Architecture (AWA) dates to 1922; first as the Alpha Alpha Gamma student association and then as a series of professional chapters across the U.S. In 1948, as the professional chapters flourished, the National Conference voted to rename the group “The Association of Women in Architecture and Allied Arts”, or AWA. The Los Angeles chapter, which also welcomed men as members from the early years, was one of the largest of the chapters and continues to be the only surviving original chapter of AWA. AWAF – the Association for Women in Architecture Foundation - was established in 1997 as a charitable sister organization. In 2010 AWA Los Angeles further refined its name with the addition of +D (AWA+D) to highlight the diversity of its members beyond architecture.Throughout the AWA history, the goal has been to support women at every stage of their education and career. AWA+D does this as a professional organization through events, and formal and informal support groups. AWAF does this by raising funds and extending financial support. Annually AWAF awards pre-professional scholarships to women at architecture and design institutions across Southern California as well as mid-career fellowships to facilitate research, travel, study, writing and other forms of continued contribution to the profession. To date AWA and AWAF have awarded over $200,000.So how to make a difference? Be involved, give a donation, or name a scholarship in someone’s name or on behalf of a women-owned company! All of us need to remember that local contributions affect change beyond our communities. We are in an unprecedented time in our history, and in particular for women’s history, so it’s time to keep the momentum moving in a positive direction.We hope you will join AWAF on Saturday, December 1 for our annual holiday party and scholarship fundraiser, or for any of the amazing events held by AWA+D throughout the year. Each one of these gatherings is a chance to engage in a meaningful community of women, and to make a difference, close to home.