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The Marathon Continues

Our current moment has drawn a wide variety of voices from our nation speaking to our collective state of concern, fear, indignation, alienation, and anger. Many feel compelled to offer well intentioned messages of hope, and allegiance with those affected by the varied social and economic currents buffeting our society. We can feel inundated by them all in ways that can make this all seem perfunctory and even performative. We have, in fact, seen this before. Therefore, we wish to offer a message to our membership less of reflection and recrimination, but as a call for a gathering of our collective will for the long road ahead toward justice in our country.

Our history does not offer many reassurances that we are prepared to make these changes. While there is genuine shock at seeing the casual brutality of the death of George Floyd, we should pause and admit that collectively we have long ignored what has been taking place in our communities to people of color. We have all stood by as our fellow citizens have been victimized by racist policies and institutions. We as citizens, as human beings, should acknowledge that those of us not affected must take the fight forward if there is to be genuine change.

The march toward justice for all is long. It is a marathon. It is vital we acknowledge the collective anguish and pain in the hearts of our fellow citizens now erupting under the pressures of dislocation, fragmentation, and hardship. We must each set aside self-assessment of the justness of our individual actions. We must move beyond merely offering comfort for old wounds of inaction and inattention. The time is now for each of us to commit to the long journey toward true equality in our society.

Our goal at AIA Dallas has long been to broaden the reach and impact of architecture – it’s why we selected a home in the heart of our city that can effect change through the power of thought leadership and design. We have spent this year focusing on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives as a means to expand conversations into collective methods of changing the ways our members practice architecture and ultimately participate in society. Our EDI taskforce is working diligently on several fronts that will be published in the next month to provide individuals and firms tools to navigate existing obstacles.

AIA Dallas is committed to creating opportunities to bring change to our society through its policies, community engagement, and actions. We will provide multiple opportunities for our members to participate in this movement toward justice for all. We must recognize that this will not be enough without more of us being willing to share in these efforts. While some may not even view this fight as theirs, the kind of change we need in our society doesn’t come without the sustained effort of the many and it is time for us to act.