After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Marshall founded The Marshall Group in 1982 and has a long history of providing services to the AIA. In the 1980’s, Marshall became the first African-American to attain board membership with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Marshall is also an active member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).
He has sponsored scholarships for minority students, encouraging them to pursue architecture and building careers through the ACE Mentor Program and have provided financial support, contributed materials, and encouraged his own staff at The Marshall Group to become mentors in the Architecture in Schools program by the Washington Architectural Foundation.
Marshall was also recognized for his efforts to help small firms compete for work with public clients. “He worked with the GSA to include small businesses, women and minorities in their public buildings service program as early as the seventies,” wrote former AIA president Marshall Purnell, FAIA, in his recommendation letter. “He promoted joint ventures as a way for smaller practices to gain needed experience.”
The award honors civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr., who challenged architects to more actively increase participation in the profession by minorities and women.