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RIBA presidential candidates to take part in racism debate

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The RIBA presidential election is set for a controversial finale after all three candidates agreed to attend a debate organised by the Stephen Lawrence Trust titled 'Is architecture in Britain hideously white?'

The debate will be held on 15 February at the RIBA headquarters and will be seen as a direct challenge to racism in the profession. All three of the candidates are white males and will face an audience of architects, students and the wider community.

'It's not a profession that black youths have previously aspired to, for many reasons, not least of which is the perceived elitism and covert racism among the ranks of practitioners and patrons, ' said chairman of the Stephen Lawrence Trust Arthur Timothy.

Asked for their opinions by the AJ, Alex Reid claimed there is 'subconscious discrimination against minorities', Brian Godfrey said 'the profession is hideously white', and Paul Hyett said problems stemmed from 'society going overboard to protect heritage which reflects a white AngloSaxon Protestant tradition'.

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