The late Sandra Vivanco (kneeling, center) helps CCA students create an “enchanted forest" for children at the literacy nonprofit 826 Valencia.

Scholarships open access to education and practice

Two opportunities to give at all levels will open doors to art and design education.

Educating the next generation of creative leaders has never been more critical to the well-being and success of society. Two new scholarship funds will open doors to art and design education for Black and Indigenous students, students of color, and LGBTQ students: the Diversity in Design Scholarship and the Sandra Vivanco Diversity Scholarship.

Diversity in Design Scholarship

The Diversity in Design Scholarship is open to students in the CCA Design program and aims to support BIPOC and LGBTQ students. It’s “a direct investment in diversifying the voices who will shape and design our future,” says Helen Maria Nugent, CCA’s dean of Design. “This is a defining moment for our society, our country, and our planet. We need to diversify the voices of design practice and support their path to leadership.”

“We need to diversify the voices of design practice and support their path to leadership.”

— Helen Maria Nugent

Dean of Design

Financial support for BIPOC design leaders has never been more critical. Designers can shape the future by facing today’s challenges head-on and envisioning alternatives. If we are to reimagine and rebuild a more just world, we need all voices. We must diversify design education and practice by opening design education to more BIPOC and LGBTQ students. Scholarships are the key to supporting this new generation of design leaders, opening the door to unexplored viewpoints, and solving problems in new and creative ways.

Sandra Vivanco Diversity Scholarship

A scholarship has been created in honor of the late Sandra Vivanco, a beloved professor of Architecture from 1994 to 2020 and former chair of the Diversity Studies program (now Critical Ethnic Studies), who passed away in 2020.

“She illuminated the lives of everyone in her orbit,” says Jose Brunner (BArch Architecture 2008), adjunct professor of Critical Ethnic Studies. “As a proud Latin American architect and educator, she redirected our focus toward the Global South, while championing the needs of underserved populations within our local immigrant community.”

The scholarship in Vivanco’s honor will support underserved and underrepresented communities by providing resources for Black and Indigenous women; women of color; and nonbinary, transgender, and DACA/Dreamer students at CCA. “We need to listen to these voices,” Brunner says. “Sandra knew this and worked tirelessly to cultivate an environment where students like myself felt supported and acknowledged.”

“We need to listen to these voices.”

— Jose Brunner

Adjunct professor of Critical Ethnic Studies

Vivanco’s architectural practice, A+D Architecture, focused on inclusive, affordable design, and “she saw herself as someone who could translate ideas from the world of high architecture to the particular needs of immigrant communities,” wrote Professor Mitchell Schwarzer in a 2020 tribute to Vivanco. “This approach is illustrated by a house she designed in San Francisco for a multi-generational family from El Salvador, where she created culturally sensitive spaces of separation alongside community.”

Vivanco’s lifetime of advocacy challenges and inspires us all to be and do better. Gifts to the Sandra Vivanco Diversity Scholarship will make a direct impact on students, similarly inspiring them to create positive and inclusive change.

“Sandra meant the world to her legion of students and together we will cherish the precious gift of her mentorship by building upon her legacy of empathy, equity, and inclusion within the practice of architecture,” Brunner says, adding that this scholarship “will provide students with a lifeline to focus on nurturing their talent and honing their skills so that they may contribute to the cultural diversity of our society.”

Gifts of every size help scholarship recipients reimagine our world

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