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Intersectionality / Intercultural Intelligence Workshop 2.0
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Intersectionality / Intercultural Intelligence Workshop 2.0

When: Thursday, June 13, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Where: AIA San Francisco
130 Sutter Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, California  94104
United States

Online registration is closed.
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Back by popular demand, we will reconvene our discussion on Intersectionality and Intercultural Intelligence as essential skills towards advancing equitable practice and more successful design outcomes in the built environment. Stay tuned for Workshop Panelists in the coming weeks. We will also bring out the Intersectionality Role Plays scenarios to hone our skills for greater understanding.

Intersectionality  - a theory by renowned civil rights expert and law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw that social categorizations such as race, class, and gender interconnect and create overlapping and interdependent systems of disadvantage—is a fundamental framework for rethinking and redesigning power structures after #MeToo.

Intercultural Intelligence - Intercultural intelligence, or ICI, is a term that is used for the capability to function effectively in culturally diverse settings and consists of different dimensions (metacognitive, cognitive, motivational and behavioral) which are correlated to effectiveness in global environment (cultural judgement and decision making, cultural adaptation and task performance in culturally diverse settings).



This 1.5 hour session will be learning about the evolving mindset of intersectionality and intercultural intelligence in advancing equitable practice. We will explore the theory of intersectionality and understand its importance in disrupting bias and the erasure of complex identities - (ie., mixed race, transgender/gender queer, etc). We will also learn about the theory of intercultural intelligence, which creates a framework for developing understanding, empathy and importance of understanding the complexity of culture in a context beyond race/ethnicity. We will shape the session around relevant storytelling of intersectional identities and then have a workshop Role/Play to directly explore how intersectionality and intercultural intelligence can inform equity activism, encourage dialogue, and promote inclusivity.


Panelists Bios


Helen Bronston, 

Associate and Architecture Discipline Lead at SmithGroup

Helen serves as Director of Architecture for the San Francisco office of SmithGroupJJR, where she is an associate. Raised in Wisconsin, she holds a BA in Anthropology from Yale, and an MArch from Harvard, where she was awarded the AIA Adams Medal. Over her 26-year career she has worked exclusively for non-profit educational, healthcare, and governmental organizations, for that is where she has felt she can do the most good for the greatest number of people. She is currently serving on the board of directors for Joan’s House, a newly-forming shelter for transgender women who have been incarcerated. Her experience transitioning gender as an architect was profiled in the San Francisco Business Times on 12 June 2015. Unable to leave school behind, Helen is also very slowly writing a PhD dissertation in History of Architecture at UC Berkeley.


Mani A. Farhadi, Assoc. AIA, 

Senior Facilities Planner, Stanford University

A global thinker and creative thought leader, Mani Ardalan Farhadi brings three decades of experience in architectural planning. In her current role as Senior Facilities Planner at Stanford University, in the Office of Facilities Planning and Management (OFPM) within the School of Medicine, Mani is combining her passion for education, with her extensive planning skills. Her prior experience includes 1 year at Taylor Design in San Francisco, 16 years at Steinberg Hart in San Jose, and 14 years at Sasaki Associates in Boston. Using analytical skills, she is integral to campus projects, collaborating on design and planning strategies with public and private educational clients throughout the US. Described as ‘the client in the room”, Mani’s keen ability to listen builds consensus within user group settings. Leveraging her expertise in strategic planning and programming, Mani enjoys leading workshops, stakeholder presentations, and conferences nationwide (SCUP, AIA, EQXD, CCFC, CCLC, A4LE).

Mani’s leadership extends into volunteer duties: former Board of Trustee member at Los Gatos Union School District, and Chair of the Bond Oversight Committee, for which she received the ‘Citizen Architect’ award. In addition, she is Outreach Coordinator and mentor for WIA (Women in Architecture) Silicon Valley, an advocate for pay equity, supplemented with mentoring professional Iranian women. A graduate of Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA with a B.A. in Architecture, she followed with a B.Arch from Boston Architectural College. A lifelong learner, her formal education has been supplemented with certificates from SCUP Planning Institute (Step III), Leadership Los Gatos, LEED AP, as well as training in MIG (Management in Governance) and Lean.


Prescott Reavis, NOMA, LEEP AP, SEED;

Director of Community Planning, Asian Neighborhood Design

Prescott Reavis is an Oakland based spatial activist, designer, planner and educator who has merged his 20 years of experiences in architecture, planning and education to plan, develop and construct inclusive communities internationally with a focus on cultural design and planning justice. Mr. Reavis is a Project Manager and Director of Community Planner for the nonprofit AND Architecture + Community Planning. Prescott earned his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Education from Howard University and is currently completing his Masters in Urban Planning from San Jose State University with a focus on youth education and engagement..


Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Principal, Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusvion SmithGroup / AIASF Immediate Past-President 2018

Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA is a Principal at SmithGroup and Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion. She is also AIASF President and Founding Chair of Equity by Design. As a licensed architect with 23 years of experience in architecture and design, Rosa has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable LEED NC Gold–certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Most notably Rosa has led a national movement for equitable practice in Architecture - catalyzed by ground-breaking research, engaging platforms and public speaking outreach nationally and abroad. National press coverage of Rosa’s work with Equity by Design include Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TEDxPhiladelphia and KQED/NPR.


Ticket Pricing

  • AIASF Members: $15
  • General Admissions: $20



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