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The Arizona Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects

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The Arizona Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects

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Our Strength is Our Diversity

The Arizona Chapter of National Organization of Minority Architects.
Serve as mentors, educators + volunteers
Our strength is our diversity

In this video, founding member Gary Nelson discusses how our chapter got started

“NOMA in one word means to me: Oasis. It is a place where I can 100% be myself, 100% keep it real”

Gary Nelson

Founding Member

NOMAarizona Latest News

An Interview with Omar Bailey, President of NOMA Arizona

An Interview with Omar Bailey, President of NOMA Arizona

Original article by AIA Arizona
Omar Bailey, AIA, NOMA, Senior Architect, Associate at Shepley Bulfinch in Phoenix, has begun a two-year term as the 2024-2025 president of the Arizona chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). He succeeds Maurita Harris, AIA, NOMA, who is now Past President. Bailey has been with Shepley Bulfinch in Phoenix for nearly five years after extensive experience in practice in both Chicago and San Francisco. A native of Brooklyn, Omar earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech. In this interview, Bailey describes his early inspiration, his current work, his outlook on leading NOMA Arizona, and describes the influence of his mentors.

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Say it Loud Arizona

Say it Loud Arizona

On October 6th, 2023, Say it Loud Arizona made its debut at the AIA Arizona State Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is an example of the collaborative relationship that our chapter has been nurturing over the past few years. The exhibit was well received and was...

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10 Action Points for Real Change in the Design and Construction Industry

Acknowledgement of historic and current systemic and institutional racism and gender inequality in the United States.

This is the most important, the other 9 points will not matter unless there is acknowledgement (much like an addict that needs to realize their addiction before recovery).

No longer use the phrase “politically

It’s about doing the right thing and treating everyone with dignity and respect.

Develop strategies.

Instill hiring & recruiting practices that are more obiective for initial consideration, reach out to more diverse schools/ programs to recruit qualified staff that also increases diversity.

A no tolerance policy of racial/sexual/LGBTQ/religious disrespect and harassment.

Consequences not ;ust for staff but also clients, consultants or upper management (e.g. a principal). It should no longer be tolerated due to revenue, bringing profit or clients to the firm, a current practice in some firms.

Allow open dialogue, encourage listening and understanding

This will be uncomfortable for some staff. Firms must take the initiative to become more educated on the challenges of minorities & women not just in the profession but also in their communities.

Eliminate subjective promotions and partnerships.

Provide actual identified measurable metrics and paths towards upper management and leadership for all staff.

Mentor all staff that have expressed interest in “next levels”.

“If they see or hear something, say something!”

Each staff members should be their brother and sister’s keeper regarding any observation of disrespect due to race, gender, religion or sexual orientation inside and outside the workplace.

Treat people as YOU want to be treated. “

NOMAarizona is deeply saddened by the rising acts of verbal abuse and physical violence against our sisters and brothers in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We firmly stand in solidarity with our AAPI community against all types of intolerance, racism and gender inequality.

Members of NOMAarizona

Thank you to our Advocate Sponsors

Thank you to our Partner Sponsors

Thank you to our Ally Sponsors

Gary J. Nelson

James Wesala

Thank you to our Partner with the
Amineh Warrayat Scholarship

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Your Donations Make a HUGE Impact

K-12 Initiatives

A variety of programs for students, Kindergarten to 12th grade, to learn about design and different career paths connecting them with architects and designers.


Financial support for local architects and design students to continue their education and professional growth, including their path towards licensure.

ARE Prep

Seminars that prepare Associates for the Architectural Registration Exams.

Educational Events

Chapter Meetings, Discussions, and Community activities that focus on justice equality through design.


Mentoring partnership with Arizona Student Chapters (ASU, U of A)