Black Spectacles and NOMA Partner to Increase Equity in Architecture

Black Spectacles Partners with NOMA to Help Increase Equity in the Architecture Field

Black Spectacles, an online education program providing architects with resources on their path to becoming licensed and advancing their careers, is proud to announce a contract with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), offering deeply discounted licensing study resources to its paid members.

Black Spectacles will provide NCARB-approved test prep software subscriptions for all six divisions of the ARE® 5.0 exam to NOMA’s paid members beginning February 1, 2021. Availability of these comprehensive and contemporary educational online learning tools come as NOMA rolls out several initiatives to further equity for people of color in the architecture community.

The year 2021 marks NOMA’s 50th anniversary, culminating in a celebration of achievement and equity. To commemorate its golden anniversary, NOMA has launched the 50 by 50 Challenge, in which the association intends to acknowledge 50 newly licensed NOMA architects at its licensure pinning ceremony in October 2021. Additionally, the 2030 Diversity Challenge, created in partnership with NOMA and the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Large Firm Roundtable, strives to double the number of Black architects in the United States by 2030. In the interim, NOMA’s goal is to reach 5,000 Black architects in the Directory of African American Architects by 2021.

The availability of Black Spectacles’ educational resources hopes to help further the educational advancement of NOMA members and increase their likelihood of success on both the licensure exams and beyond. “These study resources are available to all of NOMA's paid members, regardless of racial or ethnic background,” said Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, Former President of NOMA. “We are all in this together and need to support one another through the licensure process. We encourage our licensure candidates to form study groups and help one another while tapping into the resources that NOMA has to offer, both formally and informally, via mentorship.”

Marc Teer, FAIA, CEO & Founder of Black Spectacles, was recently awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago 2020 Distinguished Service Award for his efforts to provide free resources through ARE Live to promote licensure. This new contract with NOMA furthers the company’s efforts to ensure accessible online educational tools for licensure in the industry.

“Since I founded Black Spectacles over 10 years ago, my goal was to democratize the learning process and remove barriers to career expansion while helping architects thrive throughout their careers,” said Teer. “The recent partnership with NOMA ensures our mission helps advance the career path of minority architects over the next decade. We recognize the importance of equity within the architecture industry and want to do our part in fostering an inclusive future.” 

Current and future NOMA members will have the opportunity to learn more about how to register and utilize Black Spectacles’ platform during a webinar, scheduled on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


NOMA’s mission, rooted in a rich legacy of activism, is to empower local chapters and membership to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development and design excellence.


Black Spectacles provides support and inspiration to architects through world-class educational material and career resources at every stage of their careers. Marc Teer, FAIA, an award-winning architect, founded the company in 2010 to democratize the learning process and remove barriers to career expansion while helping architects thrive and foster career growth. As the first and only NCARB-approved test prep provider for all six divisions of the ARE® 5.0 exam, the subscription-based software has established Black Spectacles as a preeminent figure in sophisticated online learning. Through comprehensive and contemporary educational technology, media and a burgeoning platform, Black Spectacles paves the way for expansive creative potential in architecture and design.

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