Greetings. As the incoming President of the Black Landscape Architect’s Network, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments in 2021 and look forward to 2022.
Despite the cloud that hangs over everyone, BlackLAN accomplished a great deal last year.
- One of the most important accomplishments was that the Network officially became a 501c3 organization. This will allow us to seek donations and other financial resources to support our Scholarship Program, special events, and operational expenses.
- We have a website (www.blacklanetwork.org) that includes a network map and our news thread.
- 2021 was the inaugural year for The Edwards Lyons Pryce, FASLA Scholarship, which will recognize and award one undergraduate and one graduate student for their potential to impact landscape architecture, people, and their environments.
- We also held our inaugural Black History Month symposium in February. The virtual event featured Black designers across the nation to discuss the past, the present, and the future.
All of this work was accomplished under the leadership of Glenn LaRue Smith and his persistent vision of how the Network can make Black landscape architects more visible within the profession. Glenn will be shifting to the Advisory Council Network and leading their fundraising efforts, but I am sure his presence will still be tangible throughout network. Added, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the efforts of the people on the Board of Directors. Their energy was greatly appreciated then, as it will be this year as we expand our reach into the Network and increase our presence within the profession.
We’ve accomplished a great deal, but by no means are we done. This upcoming year we will be establishing three councils to increase the impact of BlackLAN.
- The Advisory Council - will consist of practitioners and educators that are well established in their careers. They will assist the board in making strategic decisions and fundraising.
- The Emerging Professionals Council - will provide support to relatively recent graduates of landscape architecture programs, assisting emerging Black landscape architects in achieving significant milestones such as licensure.
- The Student Council - will work regionally to provide support to students. Through collegiality, empathy, and help in finding mentors this Council will support future Black landscape architects.
The energy and commitment present in each of the councils is palpable and exciting. Please be sure to visit the website to see the names and faces of the people on these Councils and in the Board.
We will continue to host the annual Black History Month symposium and are looking forward to providing additional summer content. Be on the lookout for announcements for all of our special events.
I want to close by acknowledging all your support. Please forward this message to other people who may be interested in our events and activities. We will continue to update you through our news announcements and the website. If you aren’t receiving updates automatically, you can sign up below or on the website.
Once again, thank you all.
Marc Miller, President