Our Vision

We envision a world where LGBTQ+ civil engineers, architects, urban planners, geoscientists, and construction professionals can safely be themselves in the workplace.

The Queer Advocacy and Knowledge Exchange (Qu-AKE) is a national, nonprofit, inclusive network for professionals working in the fields of civil engineering, architecture, urban planning, geosciences and construction. We exist to ensure visibility and protection of LGBTQ+ professionals in our fields, by facilitating networking opportunities, providing a forum for mentorship, and fighting discrimination against members of our community in the workplace.

Our Mission

The objective of Qu-AKE is to build an LGBTQ+ inclusive platform in the fields of civil engineering, architecture, urban planning, geosciences and construction by:

  1. Promoting intersectionality awareness and visibility of our community
  2. Working with agencies, private firms and other nonprofit organizations to increase acceptance within the professional and corporate community for LGBTQ+ individuals
  3. Providing mentorship and networking resources throughout the country
  4. Bridging the gap between LGBTQ+ communities in academic and professional settings by providing resources to students, academics and younger professionals
  5. Advocating for policy change to protect LGBTQ+ students and professionals from discrimination and persecution, especially in the field.

Our Leadership

Guillermo Diaz-Fanas, PE

President

He/Him/His

"Diversity and Inclusion goes beyond gender, sexual orientation and background. It is about focusing on what brings us together to solve adversities in our communities as professionals, but more importantly as human beings."

Jan Diaz

Secretary/Treasurer

He/Him/His

"Be open about your LGBTQ+ identity and figure out a way to integrate it to your everyday work. It may be difficult at first, but it is the best place to start to educate your peers."

Melissa Beauregard, PhD

Director

She/Her/Hers

"For any engineered solution to be viable, it needs to work for all users. This is why diversity in engineering is so important. We create a better solution when our team is made up a variety of backgrounds and perspectives."

Lucky Nagarajan, PE

Chair of Qu-ELP

She/Her/Hers

The Queer Emerging Leaders Program (QU-ELP) exists to ensure that students and younger professionals in the building design and construction fields are empowered. Qu-ELP serves as a mentorship platform to motivate and retain the younger generation.

Said Maalouf

Chair of Comms & PR

He/Him/His

Through its Communications & Public Relations Committee (CPRC), Qu-AKE promotes effective messaging and advocacy to ensure visibility and empowerment of LGBTQ+ professionals in the building design and construction industries.

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