Amend AIA National's Statement on "Universal Respect and Human Dignity"

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We, the undersigned AIA members, architects, and designers, are experiencing deep grief and mourning the continual murders of Black individuals across the country due to racially motivated acts of violence and police brutality. We are further disturbed by the statement released by the organization tasked with representing the voice of our profession.

On May 30th, AIA National published a press release on AIA.org, titled “Everyone deserves universal respect and human dignity”, which fails to directly address the recent and centuries-old injustices facing our BIPOC communities and is complicit in the problem by taking no responsibility. The current statement reminds us of the “thunderous silence and... complete irrelevance” Whitney M. Young Jr. warned of at the 1968 AIA Annual Convention.

We request AIA National quickly consider the following:

AMEND: To issue a new / amended statement that:

  • directly addresses recent events (the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery among the many) as the cause for unrest and grief in communities around the country;
  • directly addresses AIA’s intolerance for racism, injustice, violence, brutality and hatred, in any form;
  • leverages the diverse voices and expertise of the full AIA National Board of Directors and staff in crafting the message;
  • is more prominent and visible on the AIA.org homepage; and
  • provides resources for our community to better understand and act upon these issues facing minority and unheard populations.

LOCALIZE: To send that statement directly to State and Local AIA Councils, Chapters, and Sections with a request to share a similar message with their communities.

LEARN: To ensure diversity and anti-racism training for all AIA National Board members, committee leaders, and staff, and to make these resources available to all AIA local leadership.

IMPROVE: To put in place measures to ensure statements of such importance be made with consideration and approval from the full AIA National Board of Directors.

As members of this profession, we want to see AIA National’s statements and values reflect the culture of acceptance and progress we hope to see and intend to build in the world. Please consider the many architecture and design organizations who have responded appropriately so far, including the following:

https://noma.net/nomas-public-statement-regarding-racial-injustice-2020-may-31/
http://www.aias.org/aias-promise-to-communities-of-color/
https://www.aiga.org/statement-pledge-and-call-to-action
https://www.aia-mn.org/broken/
https://www.aiany.org/news/dismantling-injustice-and-systemic-racism/
https://www.aiail.org/post/a-message-from-the-president 
https://www.aiachicago.org/news/entry/equity-diversity-inclusion-committee-responds-to-racial-injustice-in-chicago/#.XtcMpS-z3OQ 

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