Camille Mitchell (BAS ’06, architectural studies; MArch ’10, architecture) is a highly accomplished architect with the Toronto based award-winning firm, Gensler. Her growing reputation in the field, though, goes beyond her professional expertise and achievements.
As a Black woman in the traditionally white, male dominated field of architecture, Mitchell has faced challenging perceptions regarding her capabilities as an architect. Her response has always been to prove them wrong through hard work, excellent results — and advocating for change.
Mitchell is passionate about the volunteer work she does to address systemic social inequalities that undermine diversity in architecture. She wants young people from underrepresented backgrounds to see themselves as architects and design professionals, for them to believe such careers are possible, regardless of their colour or gender.
Mitchell’s community-based work to promote equity in architecture and design is extensive. She is a founding member of the independent organizations Building Equality in Architecture Toronto and the Black Architects + Interior Designer Association. Their programs are dedicated to supporting mentorship, networking and leadership opportunities for women and visible minorities within the architecture profession.
In 2020, Mitchell was invited to sit on Waterloo Engineering’s School of Architecture’s advisory board for racial equity and environmental justice. This task force was created as part of the University’s ongoing truth and reconciliation work to help it address the inequities that persist within the academic setting.
“We need to be mindful of our privileges and opportunities, and give voice to those communities that lack representation,” Mitchell says.
See the full list of 2022 award winners in Waterloo News.