Those of you who saw the AIA ‘21 Conference Keynote Address by Shelley Halstead on July 29 have probably already checked out the website of the organization she founded called Black Women Build-Baltimore.  If you didn’t see the keynote, I highly recommend that you visit the site. Glynnis Patterson, Director of Software Development at Ideate Software, and I attended the keynote, and were blown away by her candour and can-do attitude. Based on the comments made during the keynote, others were in awe as well.

Shelly is a carpenter, an entrepreneur, and a lawyer. Her business, Black Women Build-Baltimore, buys rundown homes in Baltimore and empowers black women to work as carpenters on the homes. They learn and hone skills while getting the chance to become homeowners and create generational wealth. The program “is offered to capable women who are ready for change and would not otherwise have the opportunity.”

Her inspiring presentation was one of my favorites. I walked away with a huge appreciation for who Shelly is and what she does, and I am pleased to share her story. We have contributed to this fantastic organization and hope you’ll consider doing the same. If you want to know more about Black Women Build-Baltimore and are interesting in donating to their cause, please visit

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.