Hazel Ruth Edwards
Hazel Ruth Edwards, a professor of architecture at Howard University’s College of Engineering and Architecture, works to improve livability for all citizens and increase diverse voices in the design and planning fields. Edwards coauthored The Long Walk: The Placemaking Legacy of Howard University (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, 1996), a history of the campus’s physical development that became the framework for its 1998 Campus Plan while generating funded research and published work on place making at other American historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Her essay “On Hilltop High: The Enduring and Nurturing Landscapes of Howard University” appears in Landscape and the Academy (Harvard University Press, 2019), edited by John Beardsley and Daniel Bluestone.
At Radcliffe, Edwards is exploring the connections between the historic distinction of land as “ours” (Black) and “theirs” (white) articulated by sociocultural and spatial-justice practices which have impacted Howard since its founding. Was it a common practice at the time for other HBCUs to have a campus serve as an oasis from injustices Black people faced?
Edwards holds the PhD in regional planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the master of architecture in urban design from Harvard University, and the bachelor of architecture from Howard University. She is certified with the American Institute of Certified Planners and was elected to their College of Fellows. In 2021, Edwards was appointed to the US Commission of Fine Arts by President Joseph Biden. She received Architectural Record’s 2022 Women in Architecture Design Leadership Award in the Educator category.