16 June 2020

equity - standing against systemic racism

The architecture profession is not one known for its forward thinking in terms of equity. Sure we have social housing, public space, and cultural institutions to our name but even these are largely inequitable. Housing that segregates people by race and income, public space unequally distributed and cultural institutions that largely focus on white European accomplishments. We can do better.

During the current public protests against systemic racism, catalyzed by the death of George Floyd, there seems to be an awakening. I receive daily messages from individuals, institutions, and companies sharing their support for the protesters brave enough to go out into the streets to demand change. I support this cause against systemic racism in our policing, policy, and culture and am here to amplify their voices. We have been quiet for far too long. Injustices against black and brown people in this country, and all over the world, have been happening forever, and the voices of these people have been suppressed for just as long.

It is time we listen. When people say “Black Lives Matter”, it is because the system has been acting as if they don’t. When people gasp “I can’t breathe” it is because they are suffocating from injustice. When people shout “no justice, no peace”, it is because they are willing to fight for the same rights that the rest of us take for granted. It is time we hear.

It breaks my heart, I am disappointed in myself that it has taken so long. But here we are. We must stand against injustice and inequity. In our personal lives and in our profession, we must make a conscious effort against racism, misogyny, and other forms of hate. It is with this that I pledge to work within my community, include people from all backgrounds, mentor, and teach. I ask you to do whatever you do, with purpose and love. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere...whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Act for justice.