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 May 2021, we awarded the first annual scholarship of $3,000 to encourage students from diverse and/or socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a career in Landscape Architecture.
As of October 5th, 2022, we have $38,025.10 in the fund, and we need to reach $50,000 in order for it to become endowed. This is why it is so important for us to reach the $50,000 threshold. Once endowed, a larger amount will be needed in order to sustain the annual award of $3,000 indefinitely. And beyond that, our long term vision is for the department to have its first full ride scholarship.
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.