From Anger to Action: JEDI at Steinberg Hart

A few months ago, we stood up, spoke out against racism and inequality, and shared our commitment to act. To turn our anger into action, we knew that we had to build a strong foundation for sustainable, long-lasting change.

A group of passionate and dedicated employees came together around a common goal of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion [ JEDI ], their passion sparked by anger and frustration surrounding the racial injustices facing our Black neighbors. This Racial & Social Justice Group met regularly over the past several months, quickly turning that anger into a desire to act. Junior designers, project managers, and partners alike from across our firm’s 7 offices worked together to create a meaningful, achievable action plan, nourished by listening sessions, research, and lively discussion around our vision for a just, equitable, diverse, & inclusive future for Steinberg Hart.

A first group focused on our Community, defining actions to address the following goals:​

  • Supporting causes that align with our mission of justice, specifically those that work to advance anti-racism, equity in architecture, and the creation of economic opportunities in historically disadvantaged communities. ​

  • Developing and nurturing genuine relationships with educational institutions, sharing our passion for design with minority students to inspire the next generation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) design professionals. ​

  • Creating equitable opportunities for employment, meaningful contributions, and advancement for BIPOC within Steinberg Hart, because we believe that a diverse team makes us better – better designers, better collaborators, and better equipped to make a positive impact in the communities we serve.​

A second group focused on our Practice, establishing a plan to achieve the following :

  • Creating safe spaces for discussion, we wish to encourage young aspiring leaders, especially our BIPOC staff, by providing opportunities for them to advance and grow in their design leadership skills.

  • Designing inclusively. We are committing to including and raising up designers from across our firm in our design process, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. We want to ensure that they are supported, represented, and encouraged to learn and interact with design leadership.

  • Designing impactfully. With a focus on community engagement, the aspiration is that we take measures to achieve design justice, consistently designing for where inequities exist.

  • Supporting a positive culture. We want to build trust with one another, support staff, and encourage advancement to improve retention, and create a positive and encouraging working environment.

We recognize that these goals will require commitment and action at all levels to inspire a cultural shift firmwide, and we are proud to present the result of our collaboration in the summary below. This is just the beginning, and we know we have work to do. We look forward to sharing our journey with you.

For more information, contact:

Samantha Chastang at schastang@steinberghart.com