#38 - Community Engagement with Siboney Diaz-Sanchez

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Siboney is an architect and Enterprise Rose Fellow in the Boston area. She works to understand how architecture and design can best serve communities. From 2015-2017 Siboney served as Zoning Commissioner for District 1 in San Antonio. Most recently she helped complete a 63,000 square foot new construction facility for ChildSafe, a non-profit children's advocacy center while at Overland Partners. In San Antonio, Siboney dedicated her time to various non-profit arts organizations including the SAY Si Board of Directors, VIA Metropolitan Transit Community Council and the City of San Antonio Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee. She was a founding member and co-chair of the AIA San Antonio Latinos in Architecture Committee that advocated for multi-generational mentorship in design professions. She is currently working at Opportunity Communities, a community development corporation. Her work for the next two years will focus on affordable housing development and community building because they are inherently connected.

Siboney received her B.Arch from Cornell University. She insists that creative fields are viable vehicles for social change and is committed to prioritizing community voices in design processes.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Siboney’s experience in architecture school, and the problem with the curriculum
  • How Siboney was raised to question what narratives are prioritized
  • Siboney’s work with the AIA San Antonio Latinos in Architecture Committee
  • The importance and power of being able to enter a space in which you feel welcomed
  • The systems aren’t broken - they are working exactly how they were intended to
  • Siboney’s experience so far at OppCo as a Rose Fellow
  • On learning the right language to challenge real estate developers
  • The responsibility that comes with creating space

You can read Siboney’s Op-Ed in ARCHITECT magazine here.

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