Sip and Sketch for Social Justice: A Q&A with James Thor

Clare Sausen June 19, 2020

What is Sip and Sketch?

James Thor, CRTKL Los Angeles: Sip and Sketch originally began as an after-work event (pre-COVID, of course) where we’d hang out and paint while we drank wine, ate snacks and socialized. When we started working from home, I missed that weekly morale boost and wanted to bring the event online. Now, we just video call in and do everything the same virtually. We’ve had a few so far, but this week we shifted to making signs in favor of LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.

What inspired this shift?

JT: This is our first time venturing into the social justice space—I’m personally very passionate about these issues, but it can be difficult to move that conversation into the office sometimes. I think this was a great way to bring fellow coworkers together to organize and advocate for their beliefs.

People show their support in different ways—some went to a protest on foot, some others posted signs on their windows or their social media profiles.

Why do you think it’s important to use your platform at work to champion causes you’re passionate about?

JT: It’s important to let the world know that we’re inclusive and we’re passionate about justice for all. It’s work we must do within ourselves and as a company to make sure that these injustices are not only acknowledged – but dealt with.

I put on all the events in our office, so I personally try to make sure all cultures are included, however, it’s not about just me—the support and involvement these events have gotten from higher-ups can help spur real change on a company level.


James Thor is an Administrative Assitant in CallisonRTKL’s Los Angeles office. He is an experienced Project Assistant with a demonstrated history of working in the architecture & planning industry. Skilled in Color Printing, Adobe Acrobat, Office Administration, Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Office. Strong administrative professional with a Bachelor of Science (BS) focused in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Author Spotlight

Clare Sausen
Clare Sausen is a Content Writer for CallisonRTKL. Based in Washington, D.C., she leverages her personal and professional experience in journalism, radio, and nonprofit communication to serve as a valuable member of the global firmwide team. Since attaining her Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University in Communication and American Studies, she has honed her craft of architectural storytelling across multiple platforms.