The January 12 earthquake that struck Haiti has galvanized the architecture community to lend its support, but the disaster has particularly resonated among African-American practitioners, some of whom are of Haitian descent. “Because all of us from the Diaspora share certain cultural values and sensitivities, it would be a tremendous lost opportunity if aid and reconstruction efforts do not involve our membership,” says Steven Lewis, AIA, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects.
Last week NOMA and its nonprofit arm, The NOMA Foundation, launched Service in Solidarity in response to the earthquake. The organization is encouraging its approximately 600 professional and student members to give money to the American Red Cross, Architecture for Humanity, and other organizations listed on NOMA’s Web site. Also, it’s encouraging members to consider donating tents, and Lewis has promised 80 tents to the Silver Spring, Maryland–based humanitarian group CHF International.