Grassroots 2019, Washington DC

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3/05/2019 - 3/08/2019
All Day

Grassroots 2019

“People. Purpose. Partnership.”

March 5 – March 8 2019

Washington DC

The below message is from Jane Frederick, FAIA, AIA First Vice President & Grassroots 2019 Chair

Grassroots is always an information rich and inspirational event that brings together AIA leaders from all our components – both here and abroad. It’s an opportunity to hear and learn from experts and from each other ways AIA can best serve our members and communities. Our goal is for you to come interested and to leave inspired.

I’m excited by our 2019 Grassroots theme, “People. Purpose. Partnership.” which will feature content that provides valuable information and tools to further your leadership skills, explores the role we have in shaping our communities, and examines ways to extend our reach through partnerships. We have added a few new events this year, and changed up some of our traditional events – all to keep you energized and inspired.

Grassroots will commence on Tuesday, March 5th with an optional pre-event activity in the afternoon for those who arrive into DC early. Wednesday, March 6th is AIA Capitol Hill Day. Grassroots will conclude by 2pm on Friday, March 8th.

As you make your plans to travel to DC this March, please be sure to carefully read the information below for details and highlights about our conference. We can’t wait to see everyone for Grassroots 2019 at the Renaissance DC Hotel, 999 9th St., NW. Come prepared to learn, inform and engage so that we collectively are the voice of the AIA in 2019.

Tuesday, March 5

A Pre-event Option. Institute Open House is scheduled from 2-5 pm for early arrivals. Get your personalized behind the scenes look at the operations of AIA national. This is an opportunity to connect with AIA staff and members and visit the AIA Bookstore and Octagon. Tours, exhibitions and informational sessions will be available. Snacks and beverages will be available.

Wednesday, March 6, AIA Capitol Hill Day

Scheduling Hill Meetings. Components should NOT schedule meetings with their federal elected officials. This is new and different from previous years in which components were responsible for scheduling their own meetings. Moving forward, the AIA federal relations team will be working with Soapbox, a Hill appointments service, who will make scheduling, attending, and reporting back on the meetings much more seamless and user friendly.
Your executive director or board president will be contacted by Soapbox in the next month to review pre-existing relationships that your component has with their federal delegation. Soapbox will also begin to coordinate who from your component should attend the meetings and other important logistics. After then, you will begin receiving your schedule of meetings beginning in mid-February. You will be sent updates as meetings get added or times change.
Soapbox will also need the mobile numbers from each person attending Hill meetings. The purpose of this is to ensure they can communicate with each attendee the day of their meetings. As you may remember, last minute changes to meeting times are common. However, Soapbox makes it easier than ever for you and your colleagues to learn of the changes and adjust your Hill day meeting schedules accordingly. To do that, they will need the mobile numbers of each attendee. After an attendee registers for Grassroots, they will receive an email requesting their mobile phone number. To ensure a smooth day for your component attendees, please encourage them to provide it.
Webinars. The AIA federal relations team will be hosting a series of webinars about Capitol Hill Day on February 8, 15, and 28. Most importantly, they will include a briefing about the issues we anticipate your component lobbying on that day. I encourage you to join one of these calls before arriving in Washington DC.
AIA Congressional Reception at the Library of Congress. This is an opportunity to socially interact with your elected officials or their staff outside the confines of their Hill office. All members of Congress and their staff will be invited by the AIA federal relations team.

Thursday, March 7

Mayors Panel. Hear from mayors from across the country on how architects can become engaged citizens and contribute to large efforts in community building, policy, and municipal decision making. The panel will provide their thoughts on being active, lending your voice and staying in the discussion on community issues for the long haul. The value of participation on school boards, volunteering for civic minded not-for-profits, and planning boards will be discussed.
Panel with Purpose. Hear from three different panelists whose compelling sense of purpose has made significant changes in the world. Why you design, what you design, and how you design, will be a critical part of the conversation. The panelists will share how they’ve journeyed through a multiplicity of purposes.
My AIA Stories. Several members will highlight the work that they have done individually or with other members in moving the profession forward in the areas of leadership, volunteerism and social impact.
Awards. We will acknowledge the recipients of the Thomas Jefferson and Kemper Awards and significant Component anniversaries.
Workshops. We are offering an array of workshop content and high-impact, interactive sessions. Choose from topics on presentation skills, collateral partnerships, social justice, financial responsibility, guides for equitable practice, and more. New this year are Deep Dive Workshops which will be offered to give attendees more time for a deeper understanding and discussion on a topic.

Friday, March 8

Closing Keynote Speaker. We are excited to announce Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned presidential historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning, and New York Times #1 best- selling author as our closing speaker. Ms. Goodwin will address leadership and provide an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders.

For more information, visit for continuous up-to-date information.