The year 2021 has shown us so far that although the quest for racial justice in the United States may be gaining traction, progress continues to meet strong resistance. State legislatures are attempting to further disenfranchise people of color with extreme voting regulations. The trial and conviction of the police officer responsible for the death of George Floyd and news of the recent deaths of Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, and Adam Toledo in Chicago at the hands of police officers bring graphic reminders of the violence against people of color and its toll on victims and witnesses alike. The mass shootings in Atlanta and Indianapolis (2 of more than 140 in 2021) deepen the context of racial violence. As well, the increase in hate and violence directed toward people of Asian and Pacific descent marks a disturbing trend that echoes histories of violence, exclusion, and internment in the US and Canada and calls for continued action by authorities and support from all communities.
Regardless of our race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or abilities, we must continue to speak out against injustice and exclusion. For ACSA this includes advocating for changes in architecture and architectural education to remedy the systemic embrace of historically White and Eurocentric theories, design aesthetics, and processes as the best or only bases in our discipline.
Another long and unprecedented academic year is ending. We want to further acknowledge the pressures in higher education of doing one’s best work. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and outrage are among the documented mental health challenges that Black, Indigenous and other people of color experience as a result of systemic racism. We understand that these feelings increase at times, like now, when injustices are made public. These feelings may also compound when pressure mounts in school and at work. We encourage the faculty, staff, and students at our member schools to approach the end of the year with empathy toward others and a renewed commitment to advocate for stakeholders grappling with injustices across the globe.
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.
Founded in 1912 by 10 charter members, ACSA is an international association of architecture schools preparing future architects, designers, and change agents. Our full members include all of the accredited professional degree programs in the United States and Canada, as well as international schools and 2- and 4-year programs. Together ACSA schools represent some 7,000 faculty educating more than 40,000 students.
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