To address the history of racism and discrimination in planning and design practices of the past, the profession of landscape architecture must broaden career opportunities and amplify voices, experiences, and perspectives beyond what is found in the current discourse of environmental design.
In recognition of this need, students, faculty and alumni of the Department of Landscape Architecture proposed establishing a new endowed scholarship: BRAVELY LEADING ADVANCEMENT, CURIOSITY, AND KNOWLEDGE IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE (B.L.A.C.K. in L.A.) to prioritize a future that is community-focused, equitable, relevant, and sustainable.
The proposed endowed scholarship fund is to support the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and to make higher education more accessible. Thanks to the generosity of the greater community of the Department of Landscape Architects, in 2020 we raised close to $22,000. In Fall 2021, we awarded the first scholarship of $3,000 to encourage students from diverse and/or socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture. We currently have just over $18,000 in the fund. But we need to reach $50,000, in order for it to become endowed and sustain the annual award. This is why it is so important for us to reach the $50,000 threshold. Beyond that goal, our long term vision is for the department to have its first full ride scholarship.
Sage Magee, a first year student of the MLA program, was the first recipient of the scholarship in 2021. We welcome Sage to the CPPLA community.
"I would like to humbly and sincerely thank the department and all donors for seeing me fit to be the recipient of the B.L.A.C.K. in L.A. scholarship. As a mixed-race Black woman I have rarely seen myself reflected in design books, documentaries, and most importantly, leadership. I am deeply concerned about inequity in the built environment and moved by the potential to change that reality. To receive this scholarship means I’ll be able to focus more of my time on my academic pursuits to research and develop projects that prioritize the marginalized and less time on my part-time job." - Sage Magee, recipient of the 2021 BLACK in LA award.
Looking towards this desired future, the $3,000 scholarship will continue to be awarded annually to a new student in the Landscape Architecture major (undergraduate, graduate, or transfer) who has an interest in supporting, or involvement with, equity and inclusion efforts that benefit the long-term diversification of the discipline. The Department of Landscape Architecture Scholarship Committee will be responsible for administering and selecting the scholarship winner.
In the event the amount raised is less than $50,000 by January 2024, the fund will not be endowed and instead will be kept in a spendable account for supporting an annual scholarship until funding is exhausted.