Diversity, Equity and Community (DEC) Resources

Statement of Purpose: Works to actively promote diverse, equitable communities through the mission of the Civita Institute.

The Civita Institute embraces the challenge of actively promoting diversity and equity in our community and in our organization's mission and work “to inspire creative excellence, education, and cultural exchange through exploration of the unique qualities of Italian hill towns.” The Board of Directors and its members have found the following resources insightful and valuable in pursuit of this goal, and we are sharing them with you as a way of listening anew to voices calling for justice and inclusion. We encourage you to contact us at info@civitainstitute.org with any resources you find that we might want to consider. 

NOTE: the views and opinions expressed in these resources are those of the authors and do not necessarily, in their entirety, reflect any official policy or position of the Civita Institute.

AIA Book List: Design for Change
Book list compiled by the American Institute of Architects, addressing the intent that: "architects and designers have a responsibility to contribute to the welfare of all communities and cities. A duty to include every voice, advocate for lasting change and consider where racial injustice meets the built environment. 

ACE Mentor Program
The ACE Mentor Program of America (ACE) is an afterschool program designed to attract high school students to careers in the Architecture, Construction and Engineering industry, driven by the participation of volunteer mentors who are practicing professionals in their respective fields. 69% of ACE students are minority, and one-third female. Interested firms can find an affiliate chapter of ACE here. 

"Black Italians Fight to Be Italian"
New Yorker Radio Hour piece about racism in Italy and what a group of Black Italians are doing to change citizenship rules there.

The Race Card Project
Peabody-award winning project, developed by former NPR journalist Michele Norris, of six-word essays that spark conversations about race in America.

"The Warmth of Other Suns" and "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents"
Two books by journalist and Pulitizer prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson that explore The Great Migration (the relocation of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from about 1916 to 1970) and how racial order in America is best understood as a system of caste.

"When Ivory Towers Were Black"
30 minute audio interview with University of Washington Professor Emeritus Sharon E. Sutton, about her book “When Ivory Towers Were Black." The interview was held in 2018 at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she graduated some 40 years prior. 

"Braided in Fire: Black GIs and Tuscan Villagers on the Gothic Line"
The untold story of racism in American military history as it unfolded between Italian peasants in the small town of Sommoconia and African-American infantrymen of the 366th Infantry Regiment attached to the celebrated “Buffalo Division”92nd Infantry—whose lives were lost, or changed irrevocably by a village battle in Tuscany during the Battle of Garfagnana in December of 1944. Author Solace Wales has lived in Sommocolonia since 1975. 

The Iconic Home
Presented by Architectural Digest and the Black Interior Designers Network, the Iconic Home is a digital experience celebrating the talent of the Black design community, that offers 16 Black-led firms from across the country the opportunity and forum to imagine the perfect room.<