Description of the award and of Salcedo's trajectory
Named after Dr. Charles Fountain, this endowed annual prize was established to recognize Black, Indigenous, and other students of color in landscape architecture who have exceptional design skills and outstanding potential to advance our field in a manner aligned with Fountain’s own career and goals. Fountain was an innovator, educator, and visionary landscape architect. As one of the first five African-American scholars to earn a professional degree in landscape architecture, he cultivated broad impacts in the field by actively recruiting and mentoring a new generation of African-American designers. Realizing the need for minorities in design in the early 1960s, Fountain left a tenured position in Plant Science at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, he returned to NC A&T and founded its landscape architecture program, the first to offer a landscape architecture degree at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Fountain served as an important advocate for diversity through national, state, and local committees, programs, workshops, and boards. While diversity in the profession of landscape architecture has yet to reflect the population it serves, it has been greatly shaped and cultivated by the life and contributions of Dr. Fountain.
Building on her outstanding record of academic and professional achievements, Salcedo’s goal is to use her expertise in landscape architecture to support and empower underrepresented urban communities, shutting down the conventional process of design as imposition, to which those communities are accustomed and through which their lives have been disrupted and displaced, and pursuing instead an equitable process of design as collaboration, through which communities can flourish in place.