RIBA president Angela Brady has come out in public support of two ethnic minority candidates endorsed by the Stephen Lawrence trust for election to ARB’s board
Her decision to ‘personally endorse’ Lisa Basu and Kirk Ray Morrison follows earlier controversy over Portland Place’s unprecedented move to officially back four candidates in the race.
It is understood the candidates – the only ethnic minority candidates campaigning to join the board which currently has no black or Asian members – have Brady’s ‘personal support’ only not that of the institute.
The RIBA’s four main runners – John Assael, Alan Cook, Roger Shrimplin and Susan Ware – were formally approved by the institute’s practice and profession committee having signed up to a shared manifesto calling for a ‘minimalist’ ARB.
A Portland Place spokesperson explained: ‘The Stephen Lawrence Trust approached Angela Brady for her personal backing of their nominated ARB candidates after the RIBA had formally endorsed its four candidates.
‘Angela is dedicated to promoting and championing diversity in architecture, she was happy to offer all the personal support she could.’
Basu and Morrison were helped to become architects by the Deptford-based charity, which was set up in memory of murdered teenager and aspiring architect Stephen Lawrence to give disadvantaged young people access to the profession.
Stephen’s mother, Doreen Lawrence said she was ‘extremely proud’ of both candidates for standing in the elections.
She said: ‘Supporting diversity in architecture and enabling the creation of a level playing field is critically important, not just for architects, but also for their clients and the wider community – including young people thinking about architecture as a future career.
‘I’m proud to have played a role in supporting Kirk and Lisa to become architects through the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust bursary scheme.
‘Both candidates offer unique insights and value to the profession and I will continue to support them through the work of the Trust as their careers progress.’
The ARB election polling deadline is 12pm on 1 March and the succesful candidates will be announced on 10 March or soon after.
ARB elections: Brady backs Stephen Lawrence Trust candidates