Dignity Equity & Justice by Design

Date: August 12
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Price: Free

Location: Dignity Equity & Justice by Design


We believe that Interior Design plays a key role in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and design has the power to heal and bring people together. However, we must all collectively take action in order to make real progress. Therefore, IIDA Northern California Chapter is launching a series of Equity Initiatives to fight against systemic racism in our society and inequity in the interior design field. Please join us in our effort and programs, which will include a virtual conversation series, community outreach, and mentorship programs. 

“Confronting racism, injustice, and a need for equity is critical to moving forward… We know that design is but one small part of that larger equation—so why not start with the change we can most immediately affect?” – Cheryl Durst

A Letter from Cheryl Durst and IIDA



Julia Weatherspoon, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED BD+C
Architectural Designer, SmithGroup

Julia Weatherspoon is an architectural designer on a mission to create more inclusive spaces within design. She has experience working on an array of architecture projects of various scales from workplace commercial interiors, aviation, community and civic design, and now Higher Education at SmithGroup in San Francisco. Julia is committed to pushing the envelope for improvement in diversity, inclusion, and belonging within the design industry and dedicated to increasing visibility and representation in design.



Roderick Allen

Jr. Interior Designer, HGA Architects & Engineers

Roderick is an Interior Designer with a focus on Healthcare Interiors at HGA. He brings 4 years of experience to the table with previous project work including – Healthcare Interiors, Sports Facilities, Workplace Interiors, and a Forensics Lab. Continually inspired by fashion, culture, and storytelling, Roderick aims to blend all three elements while designing. Identifying as a black and gay individual with little attachment to pronouns, he finds the challenge and need to design for BIPOC and LGBQTIA+ persons within the built environment as essential in the future of Interior Design.


Lisa Cholmondeley
Principal, Experienced Place Maker & Building Architect, Gensler 

Lisa has worked across four continents, with clients and project teams made up of many diverse backgrounds before joining Gensler in 2008.  She’s delivered projects in the US, the UK, the Middle East, and Africa.  Currently her focus is on large scale, mixed-use commercial projects in the Bay Area.  Lisa has always been motivated by understanding what connects people in the built environment. She believes there is an invisible bond between who we are, how we occupy space, and what space looks like.


Nadia Colquiett
Interior Designer, ASD | SKY

Nadia is an NCIDQ Certified interior designer and has worked at ASD|SKY doing corporate interiors since graduating from Virginia Tech in 2016. From the moment she entered her program in college, and everywhere she has gone since, it has been impossible for her not to immediately be struck by the lack of racial diversity in the field. She looks forward to an ongoing discussion of systems that form this absence, how people of color are affected by this, and offer ways to make design more inclusive for designers + the communities we serve.



Albert Oliver
Retired Architect, Formerly at Flad Architects

Prior to his official retirement in 2017, Albert worked at many prestigious firms including Martha + Elliot Rothman, SOM, Wallace Floyd, Tsoi/Kobus Associates, Anshen + Allen, SMP, and Flad Architects.  His projects included hospitals, biotech/pharmaceutical companies, and medical/clinical science buildings in educational institutions. Born in 1954, Alfred grew up in a time when the civil rights movement had taken hold.  His grandparents had been part of the great migration north from the South.



Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Partnership

At IIDA NC, we recognize the importance of exposing career options to students at a young age.  As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are currently working with the OUSD to develop programs, beginning Spring 2021, to teach students about the interior design profession and to provide them with creative opportunities to grow. 

The Oakland Unified School District is a public education district comprised of 116 K-12 schools, serving 49,000+ students.  The vast majority of the student population are racial and ethnic minorities: 44% Latino, 23% African American, and 14% Asian, Pacific Islander.    

If you or your firm are interested in volunteering for this program, please contact Lisa Wai at philanthropy@iidanc.org.


Kia Weatherspoon: “Determined by Design: Kia Weatherspoon on Equity, Empathy, and Real Engagement” (6/2/2020)

Craig Wilkins: It’s Time for Architects to Accept Responsibility” (7/21/2020)

Kimberly Dowdell: “Racism is built into U.S. cities. Here’s how architects can fight back” (6/3/2020)

Schessa Garbutt: “Black Lives Matter is Not a Design Challenge” (6/2/2020)

Tiffany Brown: “Stepping Up: Tiffany Brown on Leadership and Opportunity” (6/10/2020)

Design As Protest: Harvard GSD: “Design as Protest: How can designers stand for, fight for, and build an anti-racist future?” (6/22/2020)

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