Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at EskewDumezRipple

We are against systems of oppression and the ideas that separate us as humans. Our minds are open to learning new ways to be better, to do better, to create and deliver beautiful and responsible design to all. In this journey, we also hope to learn about ourselves, our systems and protocols. Therefore, the following statement is not perfect or complete. It is a project with no deadline, and as such, it will be in constant change as we continue striving for equity, humility and compassion.

—José Alvarez, Principal

EskewDumezRipple is an architecture, interiors, and urban strategies firm with an international practice that draws from the rich culture of its home city of New Orleans. Our city’s three centuries of history weave together threads demonstrating both the creative power unleashed when people from many regions, races, and cultures work together, as well as the ways in which injustice to some impedes progress for all. Our aim is to make the world a better place through the work we do—through both what we design and how we design it. Working towards a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive world is essential to the success of that effort.

Our Outlook

Collaboration: Our experience is that working collaboratively with communities and across disciplines produces better outcomes. We have a thirty-year track record of collaborative partnerships and joint ventures with minority-owned, women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises. We work to contribute directly to and learn from communities that have traditionally had the least access to design through pro-bono design programs that have become a national model. We have refined a set of tools and practices for community engagement that we share freely with the profession. Being surrounded by petrochemical plants and witnessing the impacts of drilling on coastal communities has helped highlight the connection between environmental justice, sustainability, and health, underscoring that poor and communities of color often bear the brunt of environmental toxins and climate change. This provides added motivation to our work demonstrating and advocating for toxin-free and net-zero design to show a path forward.

Staffing: Our goal is to attract, retain, develop, and promote a staff as diverse as the country we serve. Until recently the architectural profession has been disproportionately white and male, and even as the graduating classes of schools of architecture have moved towards a better match to the country, retention and advancement rates for women and people of color in architecture have lagged. EskewDumezRipple is committed to developing a firm culture and way of working that does better—advancing all voices. These initiatives include all-staff training programs to improve interpersonal communications skills, as well as an initiative pairing younger staff with managers who advocate for their growth.


Commitment

We also support initiatives aimed at improving the pathway from underrepresented communities into the design professions, through participation in Project Pipeline, ACE Mentorship, Women in Architecture, the National Organization for Monority Architects, and ‘shadowing’ programs for area youth.

EskewDumezRipple is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate against employees or applicants for hire based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, color, sexual preference, gender identity, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability. It is our goal to have a staff that is ethnically diverse, gender balanced, and varied in professional and life experience.

We are committed to ensuring that people of all genders and backgrounds are treated fairly with regard to evaluation, compensation, professional development, opportunity, and advancement. We strive to achieve this balance at all levels of the organization, including senior leadership. As a matter of policy, the management of the company regularly reviews gender, ethnic, and racial diversity and pay equity within each level of job classification and takes corrective actions as appropriate.

We live in an imperfect world. We know we have work to do. By engaging in serious conversations grounded in respect, and committing to the hard work to change and grow, we believe it is possible to harness the power of a community of many voices and strengths to build both justice and beauty.