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  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Introduction to Read.Watch.Listen.

September 2020 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the first installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: macrovector

NCSEA SE3 has developed a library of resources with regards to engagement and equity within the structural engineering profession. We're excited to share this collection as on-going conversations demonstrate a broad interest in these topics. However, we recognize that not all in our membership feel it is appropriate for a professional organization to comment on gender and racial inequity in our workplaces and/or society at large. We have reflected on this sentiment and continue to feel strongly that if we do not encourage these conversations, change and improvements will be slow to follow. Ultimately, addressing diversity and inclusion directly impacts recruitment into and retention in the profession, and that's exactly the intention behind the SE3 mission statement. We welcome respectful discourse and recommend the following article from the Harvard Business Review:Leaders Can't Shy Away from Sensitive Topics, Even When It's Awkward by Bill Boulding, Dean of Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at



Guides for Equitable Practice - Introduction & Segment 1: Intercultural Competence

The AIA’s Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee (EQFA) developed a series of publications entitled Guides for Equitable Practice as part of their commitment to work with members to overcome inequities and to advance the profession. The guides, developed in partnership with the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota, provide a resource for firms to achieve a professional work environment, build intercultural competency, improve awareness, and to develop and retain employees. Each chapter includes best practices, relevant research, and tools to help address a variety of employment and personnel issues.

  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization which advocates the value of architecture and gives architects the resources needed to achieve excellence in the profession. Guides for Equitable Practice were published in series between 2017 and 2019.



SEAoNY Diversity Committee presents: An Introduction to Topics of Racism in Society

The following presentation is a recording of the SEAoNY Diversity Committee's summer seminar series on Conversations on Racism for Built Environment Professionals. This webinar served as the first in a three-part series which introduces the topic of racism. Jennifer A. Pazdon moderated the conversation with Shani Barrax Moore, a diversity & inclusion strategist, on how racism impacts individuals, institutions, and society. The presentation explores how biases are learned and reinforced through life experiences. The conversation also encourages individuals and firms to take action, challenge the acceptance of racist norms, and create measurable change.

  • Shani Barrax Moore is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Texas. She has a background in public relations and marketing with strategic partnership development and program management experience.

  • Jennifer A. Pazdon, PE is the Vice President of CastConnex based out of New York City. She is also a SEAoNY Director and Diversity Committee Co-Chair.



Checking the Pulse of the Illinois Construction & Engineering Industry:

Diversity & Cultural Competency

The following is a recording from the SEAOI monthly series--Checking the Pulse of the Illinois Construction & Engineering Industry. The panel discussions touch on timely and relevant topics important to the local AEC community. The July 2020 episode explores diversity from various perspectives. With open and honest conversation, panelists reviewed the current state of the profession and considered the work needed for future improvement. The session was moderated by Johann Aakre, Bridge and Structures Department Manager of Michael Baker International. Guest speakers include JuanPablo Prieto, director of diversity at CTA; Vernal Stewart, president of SE3 LLC; Amrith Kaur Aakre, legal director of the Sikh Coalition; and Krisann Rehbein, executive director of the Chicago ACE Mentor Program.


This article was originally published in the September 2020 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

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