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RIBA marks death of Norma Merrick Sklarek

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Angela Brady, president of the RIBA, has spoken of her sadness at the death of Norma Merrick Sklarek, the first black woman architect to be licensed in the US

Brady said: ‘She was a pioneering architect who met and overcame many challenges to enter, remain and progress in our profession.’

She added: ‘As architects, as a profession and industry we have much to learn from her life, to ensure we foster social mobility, diversity and inclusion. Norma’s life will remain one of inspiration, courage and determination to succeed against the odds and will continue to act as an inspiration to all those who still face discrimination because of their gender or the colour of their skin.’

To mark Sklarek’s death, a profile of Norma Merrick Sklarek will be uploaded onto the Women in Architecture/Architecture for Change Diversecity Digital Exhibition, which celebrates diversity within the profession on 8 March, International Women’s Day. This will be followed by the specially-convened Norma Merrick Sklarek lecture at the RIBA on 24 April.

‘Women in the profession can continue to mobilise through groups like Women in Architecture and Architects for Change,’ Brady said. ‘We need more role models like Norma to pave the way for others. In so doing we can respect, value and extend the legacy of Norma Merrick Sklarek.’

The AJ Women in Architecture Awards seek to celebrate and promote the role of women in practice in the UK, through the Jane Drew prize for candidates (male or female) who have helped to raise the profile of women in practice, or through the prizes for Woman Architect of the Year or Emerging Woman Architect of the Year which celebrate the work of female architects currently in practice.

For more information, please visit our Women in Architecture Awards page.

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