FROM AIA AUSTIN AND THE AUSTIN FOUNDATION FOR ARCHITECTURE LEADERSHIP

To our entire community:

The leadership of AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture express our shared grief and condemnation of the inherent racism that has led to the deaths of Houstonian George Floyd and Austinite Mike Ramos, and the racially unjust treatment of Black and Brown members of our community. The idea of designing for a better future is not new to us as architects and design enthusiasts. We join in solidarity with others in Austin and beyond to help design and create a more just, equitable, and inclusive society.

To our peers in the industry:

AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture publicly recognize structural and institutional racism as a longstanding problem we can no longer ignore. Structurally oppressive systems are unjust and inhumane. We must change these systems to achieve our organizations’ goals of equality.

As two organizations that work together with Austin architects and the design community to create and celebrate places for all humans to thrive, AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture have a responsibility to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the people of our city and our world. We are committed to finding solutions that will help our members and organizations be part of the solution. In Austin, we can do better. For example, with 1,166 members of AIA Austin, only 14 are black, according to their profiles with AIA National.

What have we NOT been doing to actually see our industry and membership represent our community? And more importantly, what can we do to ensure this?

We support those who are speaking out against injustice and taking specific actions to right the wrongs of racism. Groups such as NOMA, AIA National, The Southern Poverty Law Center, and our local AIA Chapters, such as AIA Minnesota and AIA NY, are all working to dismantle oppressive systems.

We commit to working with partner organizations to dismantle structural racism and help our community members directly impacted by oppressive systems. The inequality and lack of physical safety that Black and Brown people suffer in our city and every city is intolerable. Our chapter needs to work with renewed urgency to change our profession and our community.

Will you join us in designing a better future? Our committees and leaders have worked hard to make progress, as seen in our Strategic Plan and committee work, but it is not enough.

Send us your stories. Send us your ideas. We’re here. We’re listening. Let’s talk.

 

If you are an AIA Austin member and would like to be part of our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion working group, please email ingrid@aiaaustin.org.