TZL Podcast: Melvalean McLemore & Zhetique Gunn

Aug 10, 2023

Randy Wilburn

"The most diverse companies are the most successful companies, period." 

- Melvalean MacLemore


In this enlightening episode of the TZL podcast, Melvalean MacLemore and Zhetique Gunn, dedicated committee members of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and key players in the HBCU Professional Development Program (PDP), sit down to discuss the multifaceted approach they're taking to bring diversity into the architecture industry.

Key Topics:

  1. HBCU Professional Development Program: MacLemore and Gunn delve into the mission and impact of the program, which focuses on providing essential professional guidance and various opportunities for underrepresented students in the field of architecture. They outline the resources offered, including career fairs, seminars, and grants tailored for HBCU students.
  2. Challenges in the Industry: The speakers explore the unique obstacles that both men and women, specifically African-Americans and people of color, encounter when entering the design industry. They examine the importance of comprehending the context of these challenges, celebrating the success stories, and looking forward to a more inclusive future.
  1. Corporate Responsibility: Encouraging firms to take a proactive role in diversity, they emphasize the need for companies to actively seek out and support diverse candidates. Their message is one of empowerment and providing necessary opportunities for success.
  2. Collaboration with Moody Nolan: They share their personal experience at Moody Nolan, highlighting a successful proposal they made to create an architecture program focusing on HBCUs. The enthusiastic support from CEO Jonathan Moody is underscored as an example of how industry leaders can make a real difference.

Join us for an inspiring conversation that sheds light on the ongoing efforts to foster diversity and inclusion within the architecture world. The insights and experiences shared by MacLemore and Gunn offer valuable perspectives and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future in the field of architecture. 

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Grasp how fostering diversity enhances creativity and innovation in architecture and engineering.
  • Delve into the specific barriers that prevent Black and brown people from entering the design sector.
  • Gain insight on the empowering effects of the NOMA HBCU Professional Development Program for aspiring professionals.
  • Understand the necessity of opening doors for underrepresented individuals in design education.
  • Analyze the value of tapping into established tools and connections to tackle pipeline constraints in the design field.

All of this and much more are on this episode of The Zweig Letter Podcast.


Click HERE to Reserve Your Spot at ElevateAEC in Frisco, TX September 13-15

(Mention The Zweig Letter Podcast for a 10% discount)



Connect with Melvalean MacLemore on LinkedIn

Connect with Zhetique Gunn on LinkedIn

Visit the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) website to learn more about their programs and how to get involved.

Check out the HBCU Professional Development Program (PDP) website to learn more about their initiatives and how to support their efforts.

Consider donating to the HBCU PDP grant program to support students with paying back student loans, professional attire, and relocation fees.

Encourage your firm or organization to participate in the HBCU PDP career fair and speed networking events to connect with talented students from historically Black colleges and universities.

Share information about NOMA and the HBCU PDP with your colleagues and networks to raise awareness and promote diversity in the design industry.

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Other episodes you'll enjoy:

Transforming the AEC Industry: A Conversation with Robert Yuen of Monograph

Mancini Duffy is a Triumvirate of Excellence in the Design Industry

David Bolt on the power of trust and knowledge sharing

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In case you missed it!

Click HERE to Reserve Your Spot at ElevateAEC in Frisco, TX September 13-15

(Mention The Zweig Letter Podcast for a 10% discount)

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.