Pride Talks 2024: Language Matters

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chin, Communications Director

Peggy Theodore, Principal

June 19, 2024

Inclusive design empowers people to make change for the greater good. Diamond Schmitt’s studio practice and designs inspire new and better ways of living for a wide range of clients and their communities. Our greatest accomplishments arise from an inclusive culture in which team members and collaborators are safe, comfortable, and empowered to bring out the best in each other. Diverse teams yield more vibrant conversations and designs that profit from their varied perspectives. The design industry improves only when we listen to, learn from, and amplify a full range of voices.

To celebrate Pride Month, and as part of the firm’s ongoing learning initiatives, Diamond Schmitt hosted its second annual Pride Talk Speaker Series led by guest EDI specialist and architectural activist, Kudzai Matsvai. As a queer, Black, working-class woman, Kudzai found her progression through the architectural profession riddled with hurdles, and this in turn drew her to want to explore and tackle issues of diversity and equity within architecture.

Organized by Framework Leadership, Kudzai’s talk “Language Matters: How Architects and Designers Use of Language Impacts Inclusion” highlights how language is one of our most powerful tools as it can often include or exclude even when we do not intend it to. As we work towards creating more inclusive environments, it is important that we constantly interrogate our own use of language in relation to the ever-changing discourse around gender, sexuality, and identity.

In a profession that is so much centered around people, the way we use our words matters, and it is our individual and collective responsibility to make sure that the words we choose and use are advancing inclusive agendas. 

Pride Talks by Framework Leadership is an employer program that supports equity and inclusion for LGTBQ+ employees in the workplaces of architectural, consulting engineering, and design firms.

Read more about Diamond Schmitt’s DEI approach here.