2021 Academy of Architecture for Justice Fall Conference - Call for Proposals

Starts:  Apr 19, 2021 09:00 AM (ET)
Ends:  Jun 12, 2021 01:00 AM (ET)

TransFORM/ReFORM Justice Conference: Call for Proposals

Deadline to Submit: June 11

The Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) is pleased to announce this call for presentations for our virtual 2021 fall conference. We are seeking proposals for provocative presentations and discussion topics from a wide range of viewpoints. Presentations should focus on innovative solutions and new approaches which contribute to transforming and reforming the justice system. Collaboration with subject matter experts including policymakers is encouraged. AAJ welcomes proposals from all who are active in the justice field, including design professionals, academics, local officials, providers, community programs, and impacted individuals. The following aims to answer the most frequently asked questions about the Call for Proposals process. Please take a minute to review it before you submit your final proposal.

Conference theme
The events of 2020 have brought into sharp focus the urgent need for transformative action across the justice system. Communities are demanding change. Systemic injustices persist.

As architects practicing in the justice sector, working alongside our allied professionals and partner organizations, we see opportunities to reform and transform the status quo. Collectively we have been working to shape new approaches to justice through the introduction of community and therapeutic courts, restorative and trauma informed practices, peacemaking centers, opportunities for diversion, deflection and other community-based alternatives to incarceration that support healing and recovery. Together these initiatives are fundamental steps towards establishing a fairer and more equitable justice system for all. While there remains much to be done, new building typologies are emerging to support this needed change.

Our 2021 virtual conference presents a unique opportunity to reach out both nationally and internationally to architecture colleagues working in parallel fields such as health, mental health, and education, as well as professionals in disciplines that intersect with the justice system such as criminology, psychology and social work.

Who should submit a proposal?
The person submitting the proposal will act as the session organizer. They will serve as the primary contact with AIA staff. The organizer may be one of the primary presenters or a logistical contact for the primary presenter. The organizer will be responsible for following the submission guidelines and meeting deadlines for preparation and delivery. The organizer will also be responsible for communicating with the rest of their speaker team or panel. 


Facilitation and technology requirements for all sessions will be provided by AIA AAJ. Firms, organizations and/or presenters are not required to have presentation capabilities in order to submit.


April 19, 2021             – Call for Proposals Released
June 11, 2021             – Submission Due Date
June 25, 2021           – Proposal Decisions Communicated
Oct 13-15, 2020        - Event 

Review process
Proposals will be assessed by a group of peer reviewers comprised of subject matter experts in the justice architecture field and evaluated according to the criteria below:

  • Relevance of the content to the conference theme
  • Solutions that are innovative and/or represent emerging trends
  • Topics that advance knowledge in justice architecture through research and evidence


Title: The title should be a short, benefits-oriented statement of no more than eight words. The AIA reserves the right to edit and adjust the title to meet AIA/CES requirements. Once a proposal is accepted, session titles may not be changed except by the AIA.

Session Summary:  This is essentially an elevator pitch. Speaking directly to the prospective attendees, briefly state what the session is about, what they will gain by attending, what new information or emerging trends will be addressed. Provide a snapshot of your session from the beginning to the end, if possible. Sessions will be either 1hr or 1hr15min in duration. The conference days will generally run from 11am to 6pm ET, with 15 minute breaks between sessions.

Learning Outcomes: In this section, we are looking for measurable results that will come from your presentation ‐‐ what the learner (attendee, participant, etc.) will be able to do after attending your presentation. Please list four (4) measurable outcomes; proposals will not be considered without valid Learning Outcomes. Learning Outcomes are best expressed by using active verbs such as: identify, discover, practice, describe, chart, define, list, etc. For example: “By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to identify key skills needed to influence change”.

Delivery Style: To deliver engaging and interactive learning, AIA will give preference to proposals that promote audience participation and engagement over one-way lecture‐style   presentations. Examples of such formats include:

  • Panel Discussion: Group of experts discussing emerging trends or innovative topics; engaging the audience in peer-to-peer discussion. Participation from emerging professionals in panel discussions is encouraged.
  • Case Study: Presentation of a single or short list of projects, including facts and data, with questions to generate discussion. Participation of project architects, emerging professionals, owners, users, and subject matter experts in case studies is encouraged.


Demonstrate to the peer reviewers that you have identified speakers with the expertise necessary to present the content you have outlined. Presentation of multiple viewpoints is encouraged. We would like to get a sense of who you are engaging to join your presentation or panel. Please include names where known, role, expertise and qualifications for each presenter.

Editing Your Submission
Please note, if you wish to begin completing the form and plan to edit your answers later, you will receive an “edit link” in a confirmation email after you press [Submit]. If you wish to add a required item in later, you will still have to enter some text (such as "edit later") into the field to submit. We will not check final submissions until after the due date. We also highly recommend writing your answers out in a text or Word document and pasting them into the form in case there are any errors with the submission process.

All submitters will receive an automated email confirmation that their submission was received. If you do not receive an email confirmation, contact Bruce Bland at bbland@aia.org or 202-626-7557.

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