The Lionakis Foundation was established in 2009 as a charitable organization dedicated to philanthropy, giving back financial support and volunteerism to promote a better future for the communities in which we all live and work. The charitable organizations we give back to are held close to our employees’ hearts and are nominated by them. For the month of April, the Foundation contributed to the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Foundation of Southern California (SoCalNOMA), nominated by Senior Architect, Ian Merker.

Their mission is critical to our profession and is founded on the principle of minimizing the effects of racism in the industry. Specifically, SoCalNOMA, founded in 1982, seeks to advance and support the education and careers of those who have been historically under-represented in the field of architecture and various allied design-build professions. Members of the chapter include professions throughout the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry including architects, designers, civil engineers, structural engineers, interior designers, urban planners and product manufacturers.

SoCalNOMA shared all that they do for members of the organization, where they are home to several University chapters. Events and learning opportunities include social networking, information sessions and lectures as well as design tours. They also work collaboratively with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in an ongoing effort to expose youth to architecture early on with a goal of providing career path opportunities within the industry.

Last week, the Lionakis Foundation hosted a virtual Lunch and Learn for SoCalNOMA to learn more about their impactful mission, and the ways our employees can volunteer their time and efforts to help give back. At the conclusion of the program, the Lionakis Foundation presented SoCalNOMA with a check for $5,000 to contribute towards their mission of continuing to support and advance careers in the industry for those from historically under-represented minority groups.

As an industry, diverse teams challenge us with fresh perspectives. When we celebrate different backgrounds and viewpoints, we harness the power of the collective whole: a positive power that creates connections, breaks down stereotypes, empowers potential and becomes the catalyst for change. Thank you so much to NOMA for taking the time to share your mission, work and importance with us and the AEC industry at large, as we all continue striving to do better.