Events, People, Press Releases

Celebrate Pride with SOM

Image © SOM

This June, SOM is celebrating the LGBTQI+ community in honor of Pride Month around the world. Throughout Pride Month, join SOM as we host and participate in events, partner with our communities, engage in open conversations, march in Pride parades, and more, to elevate the voices of the LGBTQI+ community in the design profession. Led by SOM Pride, the firm’s global LGBTQI+ network, SOM will host events in the firm's offices worldwide.

Launched in 2018, SOM Pride aims to empower the firm’s LGBTQI+ community by fostering an open, inclusive, and equitable environment that enables open conversation. Working together across offices and regions, SOM Pride offers meaningful support and affirmation with regard to gender, sexuality, and intersecting identities. SOM Pride seeks to effect positive change within the culture of the firm, and to serve as an advocacy and educational group with influence in the broader architectural industry. Partnering with and learning from other LGBTQI+ organizations and their allies in the architectural, engineering, and construction industries, SOM Pride increases visibility for and serves the diverse needs of its community.

Organized and led by members of the LGBTQI+ community and its allies, Pride Month events at SOM include a panel discussion at SOM Chicago hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) national organization, themed “Out in Architecture;” participation in the San Francisco AIDS walk; internal lectures by leading LGBTQI+ designers; a global toast to Pride, and more. In SOM’s studios around the world, “Pride Walls” will offer opportunities for the LGBTQI+ community and allies to share their experiences, bolstered by a poster series highlighting influential and iconic figures in queer history.

SOM is also donating to the Build Out Alliance, which promotes and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people serving openly and with pride in all roles within the building design and construction industry; and to the Center on Halsted, the Midwest's most comprehensive community center, dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer population in Chicago. 

SOM will participate in the following events in cities worldwide throughout Pride Month:


Panel Discussion: Out in Architecture
Hosted by the American Institute of Architects (national)

Tuesday, June 25th
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

224 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 
Register here

What is it like to be out at work? Is the architecture industry as open and accepting as it is perceived to be? What can design firms do to advance the needs of the LGBTQI+ community? As all industries face rapid changes to culture and demographics, design firms are challenged to respond with meaningful changes to equity, diversity and inclusion practices. During this event, learn from and engage with a diverse panel of designers, leaders, and policy influencers who are shaping the culture of design firms across the country to be more inclusive of the LGBTQI+ community. Learn about the day-to-day experiences of LGBTQI+ designers, and find out how design firms can cultivate community through visibility, culture, and inclusive and informed leadership.

March in the Chicago Pride Parade with the AIA Chicago LGBTQI+ Alliance 
Sunday, June 30th
Register here

Join SOM and the American Institute of Architects, Chicago Chapter LGBTQI+ Alliance as they participate in the Chicago Pride Parade for the first time. As a founding member of the AIA Chicago LGBTQI+ Alliance, SOM has partnered with several Chicago architecture firms to advance visibility and advocate for LGBTQI+ designers through programming, educational opportunities, community involvement, and more.

San Francisco

San Francisco AIDS Walk 2019
Sunday, July 14th
Register here 

SOM’s San Francisco office is also hosting a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the founding of SOM Pride. Members of the team will be attending a diverse range of local events this month. SOM will also host a panel on inclusive design early this Fall.

New York

Paul Rudolph Foundation Tour
Thursday, June 13th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Members of SOM's New York office will take part in a private tour of the Paul Rudolph Foundation.


Pride in London
Saturday, July 6th
Information here

SOM's London office is also hosting lectures, social events, and a Pride Wall to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community in our European home. 


SOM's offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Dubai will join a global “Toast to Pride” at the end of the month, connecting through a video simulcast hosted by SOM Pride.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is an influential collective of architects, designers, engineers and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings, and significant public spaces. From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM’s designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. The firm’s approach is highly collaborative, and its interdisciplinary team is engaged on a wide range of international projects, with creative studios based across the globe.