Two Black female architects are currently notching their mark on the Black history timeline. For some reference, of the roughly 120,000 architects licensed in the U.S., only 2,492 are Black. Of those, 566 are women. In other words, less than 1%. And for the first time in its history, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) elected a Black woman as President of the organization. Kimberly Dowdell is the 100th AIA president and the first of the millennial generation. Dowdell is a Principal with HOK. Closer to home, Houstonian Melvalean McLemore is the first Black female to be elected President of the AIA Houston Board of Directors. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed November 28, 2023 as Melvalean McLemore Day to recognize her community contributions. McLemore is the Texas Studio Design Leader at Moody Nolan.

In 2021, the AIA selected Moody Nolan for the organization’s highest firm honor, The Architecture Firm Award. The award recognizes firms for their notable contributions to the profession for 10 or more years. Moody Nolan is the first and only African-American-owned firm to receive the honor. Moody Nolan is the architect for the Bethune Empowerment Center in Houston’s Acres Homes neighborhood. The project is a small business incubator and personal development center for members of the surrounding underserved community. It’s a mission very much in line with that of Moody Nolan, which sprang from founder Curt Moody’s desire to change a profession with little minority representation. PRISM produced the marketing rendering for The Bethune Empowerment Center, which is housed in a renovated elementary school where PRISM’s very own Sarah Amos attended the fifth grade. When we talk about impacting our community, we walk the talk!

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PRISM Renderings specializes in photorealistic renderings for various types of projects throughout Houston and across other cities.
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