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A tribute to Barbara Laurie.
13 February 2013 7:45 PM | No Comments
Yes Barbara Laurie once was my student–many moons ago–when I taught at Howard University’s School of Architecture. She even imitated me once at a Faculty Roast- wearing my trademark fluorescent orange polka dot stockings and dragging a briefcase full of plans behind her. Bright, classy, smart— a real go-getter with a wry sense of humor. Students loved her tenacity and faculty admired her ambition. Barbara was always polite and crisply dressed. This, coupled with her inquiring mind and highly disciplined manner, made her a role model to many aspiring young architects. When she graduated from Howard, her next goal was to learn how to put a “real” building together. With Deverouax and Purnell Architects, she found true mentors who believed in her value and who embraced her every professional desire. For Barabra, D+P was a dream come true. And with D+P’s staunch yet unwavering support, Barbara quietly and studiously climbed the ranks of the firm from student intern to full partner, seemingly overnight!
It was not lost on us that when Marshall Purnell, FAIA became the first African American President of the American Institute of Architects– surely Barbara Laurie was being groomed to become the first Black female president of that same organization. Not only did Barbara climb the ladder to success within the firm, but she also was a keen proponent of outreach and community service. She gave back to Howard University, her Alma Mater, in innumerable ways. Always grateful for the education it had imparted to her.
Once upon a time, in 1988, Ms. Laurie actively participated in the first National Conference on Black Women in Architecture: A Sense of Achievement. I, as faculty advisor to women, directed this ground breaking conference under a grant from AIA with support for Dean Harry G. Robinson III. There, she met keynote speaker Norma Sklarek (one of the first black women to be licensed in the USA). She also met 200 other black women in architecture 13 states and 3 foreign nations. Barbara never forgot that experience and years later, she and Kathy Prigmore FAIA, picked up the mantle to create the Vortex Program once again encouraging black women to pursue their grandest dreams in architecture and design. Fully equipped with graphs, charts and many smiles, she kept keen statistics on Black women and their contributions to the profession of architecture, cross country.
Over the years, I loved seeing Barb at NOMA conferences–Once we met each other on an elevator and that one coincidence turned into a four hour conversation about the profession and the roles each of us wished to play in making change to the profession. What fun, what humor, what dedication. I recently spent quality time with Barb once again at the Detroit NOMA Conference, witnessing an entourage of students wildly seeking her advisement. When last in DC, she scooped me up-so that we could chat about old times and new ideas. Today, I wish her a loving farewell with great sadness–but soon she will go forth with white crisp angel wings to build even more award winning castles in the sky. May the Creator, forever, be pleased with the kindness of her soul and the goodness of her work.
Black America’s buying power estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015
06 October 2012 6:12 PM | No Comments
As the largest racial minority group in the United States, the influence of African-Americans on the nation’s culture is pervasive. With a collective buying power estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, Black consumers remain at the forefront of social trends and media consumption, according to the new African-Americans: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report—the second installment to The State of the African-American Consumer Report released last year, a collaboration with Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).
Read More here:Read More
What Michelle Obama Taught Tracy Reese About E-Commerce
06 October 2012 4:33 PM | No Comments
Tracy Reese is a crazy busy designer these days. She’s put out yet anothercollection for Anthropologie’s Made in Kind capsule, she just finished theTarget/Neiman Marcus Holiday collab-o-pocalypse, and she’s fielding a massive spike in sales since Michelle Obama donned her colorful fit-and-flare frock for the Democratic National Convention. So what has she learned from the whole whirlwind adventure? That e-commerce holds the secret to everything. Sort of. Reese explains it better after the jump.
Read the recent of the article here:Read More
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Shows: Live Streaming
05 September 2012 10:29 PM | No Comments
This fall, BDNN decided to stream the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Shows in New York. It’s our first leap into video, so ENJOY.
We will like to thank:Read More
Black Design News Network (BDNN) seeks writers and bloggers
09 July 2012 3:55 PM | No Comments
Black Design News Network (BDNN) seeks writers and bloggers
Black Design News Network (BDNN) is the premier black design content website and voice of black designers world-wide features four key service components: a news bureau, online publication, digital library and ‘workspace’ hub for designers.
- Architecture Design
- Fashion Design
- Graphic/Media Design
- Interior Design
- Jobs and Employment
- Product Design
- Urban/Landscape Design
Writers and bloggers must have experience, a point of view and ability to locate and access to innovative black designers globally. BDNN is about thinking, critically. BDNN is about reporting, collectively. BDNN is about communicating, digitally.
BDNN is the new, hip, hot, black design clearinghouse. BDNN is a news bureau that only collects intellectual capital to invest in projects that bring fair return on cultural imagination as our greatest investment. BDNN is about the power of design ideas to change global attitudes, impact lives and sustain cultures.
Email us at email@example.com
- A tribute to Barbara Laurie.
World Bank Archive
Posted on May 24, 2010 | No Comments
Urgent as the immediate need for shelter and housing is, Haiti’s long-term economic and social welfare depends on a comprehensive approach to planning for a more sustainable future; the rebuilding process must seek to transform the country’s built environment, not just replace it. With the help of many foreign countries, NGOs, and its own rich diaspora community, the Haitian government has developed the outlines of a post-earthquake action plan, the Action Plan for the Reconstruction and National Development of Haiti.Using this plan and its corollary, the Post Disaster Needs Assessment as a starting point for discussion, the Institute for Urban Design is planning a major conference on June 4 focused on long-term and sustainable rebuilding in Haiti.
IfUD will convene architects, planners, public health specialists, representatives from NGOs, and government officials from both Haiti and the United States to identify specific needs, and develop an action plan to address them. The conference is designed to leverage the incredible experience of the design and planning community in the Northeast, complementing local efforts to rebuild in an innovative and just way.
Leading this important discussion is Leslie Voltaire, the planner heading the Haitian government’s Reconstruction Team and a UN Special Envoy to Haiti. He will be joined by a panelists with a wealth of experience in the worlds of development, infrastructure, land tenure, education, slum upgrading, and post-disaster planning. They include:
Ami Desai, Foreign Policy Advisor, Clinton Foundation
Patrice Nevil, Director of Infrastructure, Partners in Health
Chris Williams, Washington DC Representative, UN-HABITAT
Louis Herms Marcelin, Director, Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development Haiti (INURED)
David Evans, Chief Technical Advisor, UN-HABITAT Sri Lanka
Steven Lewis, President, National Organization of Minority Architects
Friday, June 4, 2010
Rose Auditorium, Cooper Union
41 Cooper Square
New York, New York
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
For More Details: http://www.ifud.org/haiti/
Posted on May 12, 2010 | No Comments
by Atim Annette Oton
Brazil became the first contributor to the Haitian Reconstruction Fund, managed by the World Bank. This is the first country to fulfill its promise of the $10 Billion promised to Haiti at the International Donors’ Conference.
WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) – Brazil became the first contributor to a reconstruction fund for Haiti on Tuesday and World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged other donor nations to make good on their aid pledges to help the Caribbean country rebuild from a devastating earthquake in January.
Brazil, which commands a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, said it had paid $55 million into the World Bank-supervised fund. In March, international donors pledged $10 billion over a decade to help impoverished Haiti rebuild. See details here: Reuters.
The Haitian Reconstruction Fund
At the International Donors Conference, the Haitian Government reveled an Action Plan for the country.
The Fund is in part based on Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) of Haiti in January that was carried out by a joint team of national and international experts, who were actively assisted by representatives of NGOs and the Haitian civil society The Haitian Reconstruction Fund is focused on macro-economic projections between now and 2015.
The Fund is chaired by the Government of Haiti and is governed through a Steering Committee that also includes contributors to the Fund (countries and institutions, including Brazil) and partner entities such as the Inter- American Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank serves as the fiscal agent for the Trust Fund, transferring funds for the implementation of programs by a broad range of actors on the ground (such as government ministries, NGOs, the private sector, and UN agencies) at the request of the Fund’s Steering Committee.
The Action Plan for National Recovery and Development includes actions which are defined in time, over an eighteen month timescale. It is based on four major areas of work which should enable the practical rebuilding of Haiti. The sectoral actions and initiatives are brought together according to the themes of regional, economic, social and institutional reconstruction. The fund will help Haiti achieve some of it specific action plans for each field are organised in the following way:
- Territorial rebuilding: Reconstruction of the devastated zones and urban renovation, the road network, regional development hubs and urban renovation, preparation for the hurricaneseason and regional planning and local development.
- Economic rebuilding: Relaunch of national production, restoration of economic and financial circuits, access to electricity.
- Social rebuilding: Health, food safety, nutrition, water, sanitation, highly labour-intensive activities.
- Institutional rebuilding: Democratic institutions, restart of public administration, justice and security. See More details here
Posted on May 11, 2010 | No Comments
by Atim Annette Oton
On a sunny slightly chilly day in Brooklyn, at Borough Hall, the New York U.S. Export Assistance Center, in partnership with the Brooklyn International Trade Development Center, hosted a seminar for companies interested in learning about accessing the medium to long-term reconstruction opportunities in Haiti. The seminar gave attendees:
- An understanding of Haiti’s on-the-ground realities from a business perspective;
- Insights into the process for bidding on procurement opportunities with the U.S. government and international development banks
- Information on investment financing and political risk insurance;
- Resources for infrastructure-related feasibility studies and technical assistance
- Important contacts for accessing future opportunities; and
- Real world experiences of companies who currently do business in Haiti.
The eye-opener and key to this seminar was the Procurement processes and bidding on contracts with not only the U.S. government, but most importantly, the multilateral organizations – U.N., Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. These three organizations hold the key to accessing work in Haiti that most small businesses – architects, in particular are not leveraging.
So, if you are interested in work in Haiti, you must register with the UN, Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank
- UN: http://www.ungm.org - the UN Global Markplace website.
- IADB – http://www.iadb.org
- World Bank - http://www.worldbank.org
Additionally, it is vital for businesses to read the Action Plan put together from the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti. The Plan can be downloaded here. This plan states the vision:
“ The Haitian Head of State defined the country’s long-term vision for development in the following terms:We will rebuild Haiti by turning the disaster on 12 January 2010 into an opportunity to make it an emerging country by 2030.This restructuring will be marked by:
A fair, just, united and friendly society living in harmony with its environment and culture; a modern society characterised by the rule of law, freedom of association and expression and land management.
A society with a modern, diversified, strong, dynamic, competitive, open and inclusive economy based on the land.
A society in which people’s basic needs are met quantitatively and qualitatively.
A knowledge-based society with universal access to basic education, mastery of qualifications based on a relevant professional training system, and the capacity for scientific and technical innovation fed by a modern and efficient university system, in order to create the new type of citizen the country needs for reconstruction.
All of this, under the supervision of a responsible, unitary state guaranteeing the implementation of laws and the interests of the people with a strong commitment to de-concentration and decentralization.”
The key to the reconstruction plan are the 3 stages vital to the process:
- The emergency period, which must be used to improve accommodation for the homeless; to return pupils to school and students to university and vocational training centres; to prepare for the next hurricane season in the summer; to pursue efforts to restore a sense of normality to economic life, especially by creating large numbers of jobs through high-intensity work, by guaranteeing stability in the financial sector and access to credit for SMEs; and to continue to reorganise state structures. During this period, it will be necessary to work on development strategies and plans for selected new economic centres; to pursue action in favour of equipping reception zones for those who have been displaced by the earthquake; and to set up an electoral process to avoid constitutional gaps.
- The implementation period (18 months), for projects to kick-start the future of Haiti and establish a framework of incentives and supervision for private investment on which Haiti’s economic growth will be founded. As foreseen by various analyses and assessments, private investment in the economy as well as in the social sector will form the backbone of the country’s reconstruction. Among the commitments of donors, support will be given to the private sector to provide it with the capacity required to fulfil this role.
- The period (10 years) during which the reconstruction and recovery of Haiti will become a reality, in order to put the country back on the road to development, followed by another ten years to make it a real emerging country.
The plan also details what the role of the Haitian Reconstruction Fund and indicates ways to find resources for projects in Haiti.
Atim Annette Oton , co-Founder of BDNN will continue to work on reports on Haiti.