June 3, 2020

ACSA Releases Statement Addressing Racial Injustice

Call to Action to Seek a More Equitable Future

Rashida Ng, President
Lynne Dearborn, First Vice President/President-Elect
Michael Monti, Executive Director

Our hearts are heavy as we bear witness to lives lost as a result of deep-seated racial inequalities that pervade every sector of life in the United States and around the world.

The ACSA condemns the continual acts of violence against African Americans, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. We believe Black Lives Matter. The protests sparked by these events highlight the history of entrenched inequality experienced by people of color and Native/Indigenous people. We acknowledge the role of design in creating and perpetuating differential access to basic public services, including housing, green space, education, and health care, to name a few. We recognize the profession’s history of contributing to inequity through actions but also through inaction. We understand that architectural education has for too long accepted white privilege as the norm, limiting diverse voices and marginalizing the discipline’s impact on society. 

We know some of our members have to navigate racism daily, while for others exploring racial issues will be new. ACSA needs to deepen our attention to racial equity. Through the training of our board and staff leaders, we are learning about historical systems of oppression and reflecting on reasons why past efforts to transform architectural education have not been effective enough. We have more to learn and more work to do. 

Our Commitment
ACSA is committed to making architectural education more accessible, inclusive, and equitable by initiating change through our volunteer committees and programs. From our growing understanding of overt and covert forms of racism and white privilege, we acknowledge the need for a comprehensive review of policies, programs, and procedural norms in ACSA and our member institutions to eradicate long-standing inequities. 

Our recent efforts toward equity include presentations and publications related to race and racism, online discussions about equitable pedagogy, and data and research that highlight differential outcomes for women, people of color, and Native/Indigenous people in the discipline and profession. We also recognize that some of our members have been engaged in social-justice-oriented work for many years outside of ACSA.

Moving forward, we will use our forums to increase understanding and empower action. We invite members to join us in forging paths for a more just and equitable future for all people.

Related Content

Below, we have provided an initial list of links to related content, understanding that it is not exhaustive, that many others are working beyond our sphere, and that more work can be done. If you would like to add a resource, please email us. 

Statements from Related Organizations
Questions

Michael J. Monti
Executive Director
202-785-2324
equitablefutures@acsa-arch.org