ACE Mentor Program of America (ACE) and The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Announce National Partnership

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PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 7, 2021

The ACE Mentor Program of America of America (ACE) and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) are pleased to announce today the formalization of their national partnership. ACE is a national nonprofit organization committed to advancing career opportunities for high school students in fields related to architecture, construction, and engineering, while NOMA works to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development, and design excellence.

ACE and NOMA have a shared commitment to diversity, inclusion, and workforce development. By forming this official partnership, the two organizations plan to work together to support students as they move from middle school, to high school, through college and into careers in architecture.

“As a longtime supporter of both NOMA and ACE, the partnership between our two organizations is a natural connection to further bridge pipeline programs that promote minority students access to careers in architecture and all aspects of the built environment,” said Jason Pugh, AIA, AICP, NOMA, LEED AP, NOMA President and Gensler Project Architect and Urban Designer Senior Associate. “Where we have strong NOMA Project Pipeline programs for elementary students, we hope to also create strong ACE high school programs as well to support their access to the field.”

NOMA’s Project Pipeline program is offered every summer in over a dozen U.S. cities led by NOMA professional chapters. The partnership with ACE enables NOMA to help connect design-interested Black and Brown youth to high school programs. Beyond high school, NOMA maintains a strong network of college student chapters, NOMAS, and supports a fellowship program, to support young professionals on their path to architecture licensure. Only 2 percent of licensed architects are Black and of them, .2 percent are Black women. The 500th female Black architect was licensed in November 2020, according to NOMA’s Directory of African American Architects.

“We are so excited to formalize our partnership with NOMA,” said Diana Eidenshink, President of the ACE Mentor Program of America. “Our organization, which annually serves more than 10,000 students across the country, looks forward to completing the pipeline from middle school, through ACE, and into rewarding careers. We know that this will help affiliates across the country better support to minority ACE graduates by connecting them with NOMA student chapters on their college campuses.”

As part of the partnership, NOMA Director of Strategic Partnerships, and Moody Nolan Associate, Antoine Bryant, Associate AIA, APA, will join ACE’s National Board of Directors.

About the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA):

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) was formed nearly 50 years ago to represent the needs of African American architects. Founded in 1971 at the AIA conference in Detroit, the purpose of NOMA was to bolster and provide support for the handful of Black licensed architects around the country. Today, NOMA is a haven for architects of all origins who seek inclusion in the design industry. We continue to advocate for the licensure of African American architects (who account for only two percent of all licensed architects today), as well as those from other from underrepresented backgrounds. NOMA is extremely hopeful about the profession’s future due to the strong presence of student leaders from over 80 schools across the U.S. and Canada. As we continue to support our NOMA students (NOMAS), we anticipate they will be major contributors to our field, and we are proud of the work they are doing right now to prepare for the future.

About the ACE Mentor Program

Founded in 1994, ACE, which stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering, works to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry. The main objective is to work with underrepresented students that do not have the guidance and support to help them uncover opportunities for their future. Volunteer industry professionals mentor students and lead them through a hands-on simulation of designing and constructing buildings.

Statistical Profile

ACE currently operates in 77 affiliates covering 36 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and in more than 200 cities. Over 10,000 students and about 4,100 mentors each year. ACE has awarded more than $21 million in scholarships to students. ACE Mentor firms have contributed more than $17.5 million worth of pro bono time.
92% of ACE graduates enroll in higher education and two-thirds enter majors linked to the design and construction industry. Students come from over 1,100 high schools and 2/3 come from underserved or minority communities.
Almost 70% of students are minorities and one-third are young women.