#FutureArchitectFriday: TraShanna Shelton

Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.


TraShanna Shelton


Greensboro, NC

Educational Status:

Second Year Architecture Student

How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?

At the beginning it was difficult, I often found myself taking classes where I was the only woman and the only black person, even more difficult there were no instructors who were POC either. Once I began my journey to gain my Bachelor’s degree it was a little better. I still find myself in professional atmospheres where there are low numbers of POC. It makes it challenging to find someone who can relate to your experience and your struggles. I decided to join the National Organization of Minority Architect/Students and a door opened that allowed me to connect with POC in architecture around the country and it was the best decision I did. They were welcoming and have continued to support my journey, while being encouraging and honest about the challenges we still face when it comes to this industry. I have all faith and hope that things will change and things will get better. We just have to go continue to challenge the status quo of what architects and architecture looks like.

Why do you want to get your license?

 To have the ability to create lasting change for POC and the environment. With my license I can guarantee that my efforts will go to providing buildings that are not only affordable but also good for the planet. Being a role model for the next generation that things can and do change if you are willing to put in the work needed.

Biggest inspiration/influence?

My biggest influence is my mother, a single mother of three very strong girls with complete different personalities. She gave us everything we needed and then some. we did not want for anything. She gave us the ability to try new things and fail on our own,which I think is very important. She has shown me that a lot determination and a little bit of stubbornness can set you on a track to gain the things you really want in life. She has never been anything but supportive in all my endeavors. She is my biggest fan and constantly reminds me of that.  

How important is representation?

Representation has always been important, I feel it is needed now more than ever. In a society where everything is digital and information is at your fingertips representation needs to be in your reach. Now is the time where our little brown boys and girls need to see themselves in ways that are positive and encouraging. Showing them they can be other things besides doctors, lawyers, athletes, or entertainers.

Favorite quote/poem/song/etc.?

Quote: “You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”  – Michelle Obama

Book: “You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero

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