230746 Role of Architects in Building Resilient Communities that have been impacted by disasters

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Steven Lewis , President, National Organization of Minority Architects, Washington, DC
Recent years have produced a series of highly publicized natural disasters, each of which has had devastating consequences for resident populations, but none more adversely impacted than those who constitute historically disadvantaged communities. The membership of NOMA pledged to play a role in helping New Orleans to recover from hurricane Katrina, and more recently, became active in offering help to Haiti immediately following the earthquake of January 2010. While our intentions are noble, we have nonetheless been limited to date in the magnitude of the impact we have been able to achieve – particularly in those areas whose residents were on the margins of society even before the disasters hit.

The effectiveness of relatively small non-profits like NOMA can be enhanced by leveraging the resources of like-minded, “sister” organizations for projects of shared concern. My talk will describe NOMA's historic approach to meaningful intervention in historically disadvantaged communities impacted by natural disasters – i.e.: New Orleans and Haiti – with a focus on how our recently-formed partnerships with such organizations as the American Institute of Architects (AIA), U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the National Urban League, the American Public Health Association (APHA), and NA??? offer the promise of greater effectiveness in delivering holistic planning, design, and sustainability services. The goal will be to explore and identify areas of need, and to formulate strategies and ideas that can be put into action by a consortium of organizations.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain NOMA’s historical approach to advocacy for historically disadvantaged communities. Describe the key areas of influence and impact that draw from NOMA’s core competencies. Discuss the possible advantages of developing / expanding strategic partnerships. Formulate tangible strategies for leveraging resources of like-minded organizations to be of greater effectiveness in assisting disaster-stricken areas and communities with recovery and reinvention.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As president of NOMA, I have leadership responsibility over our initiatives to assist with the rebuilding of New Orleans and Haiti. I have traveled to both places following their respective disasters, and am involved in our efforts to make a positive difference for those most impacted.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.