What We Do Next Matters

AIA Pittsburgh’s statement on social justice and a more equitable built environment

By Posted on June 9, 2020

No statement can do justice to the despair, grief, and anger inflicted on so many by recent acts of racism and brutality against the Black community. That said, our profession should not be defined by its silence on this issue. We know longstanding inequities and discrimination against many groups will continue to harm members of our profession, our region, and our society.

As a community of architects and allied professionals we can take action by asking: What can architects and architecture offer in the way of change for the better? How can we live up to our professional commitment to support the health, safety and wellbeing of the public in its entirety? How can we continue to take steps to strengthen our own profession so we can better understand and serve the diverse needs of others?

AIA National launched Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, or EDI, initiatives and scholarships more than 50 years ago at the encouragement of civil rights leader, Whitney M. Young, Jr.; in recent years the Institute identified EDI as a core value. When AIA Pittsburgh developed organizational values, EDI was chosen as central to our work in western Pennsylvania. We then started an EDI Committee to identify our members needs and how we can best provide guidance and resources.

As an association of problem-solvers, we are in a position to support change. We can advocate for a more equitable built environment so people have safe and healthy spaces in which to work, raise a family, and find respite. We can be open to broader collaborations that produce creative and lasting solutions. We can do more to ensure greater diversity in the profession, from engaging an array of young minds to recognizing the obstacles that hinder career progression for many. We can listen better and explain more about the impact that design of physical space has on the human experience.

The actions we take – or don’t take – define our lives and the lives of those around us. What we do next matters.

Joseph Chaffin, AIA, President   |   Lisa Carver, AIA   |   Nickie Cheung, Associate AIA

Patricia Culley, AIA   |   Lawrence Fabbroni, AIA   |   Quintin Kittle, AIA   |

Bea Spolidoro, AIA, Second Vice President   |   Amanda Markovic, AIA   |   George Rieke, AIA, Treasurer

John Ryan, AIA   |   Sean Sheffler, AIA, Secretary   |   Dina Snider, AIA, First Vice President

Catherine Wick, AIA   |   Stephen Winikoff, AIA   |   Michelle Fanzo, Executive Director

If you have ideas about ways AIA Pittsburgh can continue and expand our work on equity, diversity and inclusion, we invite you to email us at: info@aiapgh.org

 

AIA National’s statement on systemic racial injustice can also be found here.

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