NOMA President Discusses COVID-19’s Impact on African Americans

Managing Editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, Jack Balderrama Morley, features Kimberly Dowdell in a timely article on the pandemic, and its reverberations in the industry.

“COVID-19 has been a magnifying glass on the weaknesses in our systems,” said Kimberly Dowdell, principal at HOK and president of the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA). Though racialized housing disparities are nothing new, the stark death toll of the pandemic is harshly illustrating those disparities’ effects. “There’s a saying that when America sneezes, the Black community catches a cold,” Dowdell said, pointing to an enormous wealth gap between Black and White Americans as one of the main reasons why Black people in the U.S. suffer more acutely during crises like the current one.