Robert Kennard, FAIA
Mentorship, diversity advocacy
Founder of one of Los Angeles’ oldest African American-owned architecture firms, Robert Kennard, FAIA, received the Whitney Young Award for his long-standing mentoring efforts as well as his promotion of social responsibility in architecture.
Because of the frustration he experienced as an African American trying to obtain his first architecture job, Kennard vowed he would never close his door to any architecture student or recent graduate of any color. Throughout his career, which spanned five decades, Kennard served as a role model for his colleagues in the profession and as a mentor to those who wish to pursue a career in architecture.
After graduating from the University of Southern California School of Architecture in 1947, Kennard dedicated his energy toward using architecture as a tool to improve the basic fabric of society. For Los Angeles public schools, he filmed a documentary on the role of architects of color and developed an enrichment program for high school students to learn about architecture. He also advised architecture programs at California Polytechnic University, University of Southern California, and University of California, Los Angeles.