Michaele Pride: Practice What You Preach
Michaele Pride, AIA, NOMA, is an architect and urban designer. After the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992, Pride helped found the Design Professionals' Coalition, which aids neglected communities of South Los Angeles. Her own design efforts focused on community-based projects like the renovation of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, neighborhood revitalization plans, and affordable housing in South Central LA. In 1995 Pride delivered a powerful and prescient lecture at SCI-Arc entitled "Practice What You Preach," in which she spoke about the impact of architecture on the Black community and discussed socially responsible projects centered around urban planning, development, and redevelopment with the aim of realizing community goals. The full lecture is available on the SCI-Arc Media Archive on SCI-Arc Channel.
Pride started the firm Regarding Architecture, the first woman-owned and operated architecture firm in California. Her research focuses on the social and political implications of urban design and the dynamics of neighborhood change. Translating theory to practice, she advises neighborhoods and local governments across the United States. Pride’s current work focuses on the intersection between design and public health—seeking ways to create healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities.
“The riots that shocked Los Angeles in 1992, also shocked and changed me. The causes and effects were widespread and deeply felt. I realized that the world hadn't changed all that much. Not even in Los Angeles. Racism, economic inequality and despair still rule the lives of so many. I feared for the life of my nephews. They are young adults and black. And they were on the streets, possibly after curfew. I feared for the life of my son, who was only two years old at the time, but he was and still is black and male and probably is facing the same disadvantages and stereotypes as my nephews. I feared for the future of Los Angeles and the future of my black community. I cried. I also had to ask what can I do to help make a difference?”