March 1, 2022 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

It’s March of 2022 and we’re wondering where has time gone!? As we tentatively near the end of mass quarantining and stay at home orders, we’re excited for the potential of future in-person gatherings once again. Grassroots has been virtual for the past few years, so we thought that this would be a good opportunity to look through our archives and learn more about the legacy of Grassroots.

While FORUM has always been part of AIAS programming since the very beginning of the organization, Grassroots was introduced in the summer of 1985 as a leadership training conference for leaders in the AIAS. We searched through the repository of CRIT Journals to see what we could find in relation to Grassroots, so please enjoy some of our favorite highlights of such an important AIAS conference!

Did you know that…

…the first Grassroots conference was held in the summer of 1985?

…Grassroots has always been held in Washington DC, where the AIAS National Office is located?

…Grassroots was always focused on leadership training?

…the tradition of taking a group picture of Grassroots attendees outside of the AIA Building started at the first Grassroots?

…the 2022 Grassroots will be the 37th Grassroots?

…introducing Leadership Day as a free portion of Grassroots training for AIAS leadership began in 2021 as a way to increase accessibility of the organization?

…Grassroots is where the AIAS Board of Directors are sworn in and start their year-long term as board members after being elected in the winter during FORUM?

…Grassroots is when one of the two yearly Council of Presidents meetings takes place? …there is a long history of many AIAS leaders who have been inspired to run for the Board of Directors at Grassroots?

…at Grassroots current AIAS national leaders take time to host a leadership Q&A with anyone who has questions about stepping into a national leadership position on the board or national committee? 

…the AIAS President and Vice President choose the theme of Grassroots, which often translates to their theme for the year? Past themes have included: Evolve (2021), Take Action (2020), Amplify (2019), Success Seekers (2018), Lead by Example (2017). 

Revisiting the Legacy of AIAS Grassroots Through CRIT Journal

Check out the full PDF of our CRIT Journal pages that talk about AIAS’s Grassroots conference over the years! Below are some of our favorite finds.


Legacy of AIAS Grassroots Full PDF