054: Architecture, And: JEDI

Episode 054: Architecture, And: JEDI

What is the role of a firm leader focused on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion?

As we continue to expand our exploration of diversity in practice, we’ve invited Yiselle Santos Rivera back to the podcast so she can share what she’s learned after two years of serving HKS as their Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.

What does it mean to position someone in a firmwidew leadership role dedicated to increasing diversity within an architecture studio? What lessons can firms learn from the adoption of a leadership position of this scale? And what are some of the challenges in driving change in this capacity? Yiselle will help us explore this conversation in depth with personal stories from her leadership experience, as well as lessons learned along the way.


Yiselle Santos Rivera, AIA, NOMA, LLSSYB, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP is a medical planner and Global Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at HKS. With national and international experience on a broad range of healthcare, sports, residential, institutional, and commercial/mixed-use projects, she thrives on designing for inclusive communities, building belonging through equitable practices, and empowering the next generation of leaders in the architecture, design, and construction industry. 

Yiselle is a published author, national speaker, has been featured on various podcasts, and is the founder of “We Inspiring Emerging Leaders in Design” (WIELD), recipient of the 2019 AIA Diversity Program Recognition Award. She is a storyteller, a 2015 Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program Scholar, and a recipient of the 2018 AIA Associate Award.

Show Links:



Practice Disrupted Diversity Series:

Episode 009: Voices from the Future of the Profession (Black Architects)

Episode 016: Voices from the Future of the Profession (LGBTQIA+ Architects)

Episode 035: Asian American Architects

Episode 048: Architecture, Identity, & Culture

Episode 053: Immigrant Architects

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes on this series!

📚 Continue Learning:

AIA  Guides for Equitable Practice

💻 Learn about our podcast partner Monograph:

Monograph is the cloud-based practice operations solution built for architects by architects. It is easy to use, beautifully designed, and helped firms streamline operations by empowering them to see project and firm-wide financial health in a single tool.  Plan your projects with schedules, budgets, roles, and team members. Track a project’s financial health with their unique MoneyGantt which takes timesheet data and makes it simple to see whether you are on track or not.  Use firm-wide revenue forecasts to make strategic decisions. With Monograph, you never have to make a decision in the dark again. 👉 Visit Monograph now.


💻 Learn about our podcast partner ArchIT:

Tired of dealing with generic IT providers? ArchIT offers complete IT solutions for architecture, design, and engineering firms, including helping architects fight back against ransomware and cybersecurity attacks. Visit https://getarchit.com/pd/  to set up your free 15-min Cyber Security Assessment, or custom solutions for your design firm.

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