Guide to Allyship here
BLM YSOA graphics here
Initiatives by Alumni/Student Architecture Groups
Notes on Credibility: A statement from the African American Student Union (AASU) and AfricaGSD to the administration of the Harvard Graduate School of Design
“This statement is not about us, it is about you and your credibility as an institution. As Black members of this community, we have maintained silence this past week – both as an act of self-care and because we feel there is no need to publicly share our grief, trauma, or exhaustion. We do not owe you our experiences, ideas on how to organize, or a listening session on how it feels to be at an institution that does not proactively address systems of injustice in its curriculum, classrooms, or social experiences....”
GSAPP Alumni Group for Action (GAGA) response to Dean’s "Message of Solidarity" ”We are GSAPP alumni writing in response to the Message of Solidarity you shared with our community on June 2. With all due respect, we feel your Message fell short of its own stated goals. An expression of solidarity without a clear commitment to action amounts to little more than optical allyship. You explicitly stated the call to “speak not empty words of change,” yet without a single actionable proposal within your Message, we are left to wonder: What is GSAPP actually going to do?....”
A Statement from the Black Faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
UVA A-School Call to Action ”Members of the University of Virginia School of Architecture - Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff - are writing in response to your June 1st Message to the Community. With all due respect, we feel that your message falls short in acknowledging the institutional work urged by the Black Lives Matter Movement....”
A Letter to the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, & Design (DFALD) On Dismantling Systemic Anti-Black Racism ”We, a collective of students and alumni, urge you to take immediate action to dismantle anti-Black racism at DFALD. Global movements like Black Lives Matter and local organizations like #NotAnotherBlackLife have surged, addressing centuries of systemic racism and police brutality against Black people. DFALD must use its prestige and institutional agency to strengthen this global call for systemic change....”
RSA Call to Action
“... we believe that it is time to hold a mirror to the RSA’s internal systems of injustice and exclusion, and to specify, directly and transparently, what actions you will take to affect concrete change. This letter is issued as a collaborative message from alumni that urges acknowledgement and that swift action be taken. We hope this serves as a starting point for a continuous dialogue between students, faculty, alumni, and community leaders moving forward....”
Open Letter to RSA from Current Students “This statement follows a discussion within the greater undergraduate and graduate student body of the Rice School of Architecture in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and civil unrest surrounding institutionalized violence and systemic racism across the country.... With this letter, we hope to provide insight into our student body’s collective and individual conversations as a means to illuminate shared priorities and to begin an ongoing conversation with the leadership and faculty of the school....”
Open Letter from Cornell NOMAS “... From the conversations we have had with our Black peers, it is evident that Cornell AAP has been a more welcoming space to some than others. The Cornell NOMAS Chapter wants to aid in creating a diverse and inclusive space that supports and gives voice to members of our community who have felt unheard. There are 3 parts to this letter: Part 1: The Voices of Our Black Students Part 2: Being an Ally Part 3: Our Demands...”
On the Futility of Listening
A Statement from the Black Student Alliance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation [BSA+GSAPP] to the Columbia GSAPP Dean and Administration
”This statement bears witness to a profound and intolerable lack of vision, awareness and imagination from the administration of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, including its program in Real Estate Development at Columbia University....”
Open Letter on Anti-Racism to the PSoA “Following weeks of civil unrest demanding justice and reflecting on 401 years of anti-Black racism and violence across the nation, the graduate students—past and present—of the Princeton School of Architecture (PSoA) have discussed how best to support our Black peers....”
Call for Action | Knowlton School Of Architecture “A statement from the Knowlton School of Architecture student body and alumni to the administration and faculty of the Knowlton School of Architecture. We, as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) alumni, students, and faculty of the Knowlton School of Architecture (KSA), are calling for immediate systematic changes to the academic experience at KSA....”
University of Florida SoA Call to Action ”In response to the University of Florida School of Architecture's statement released on June 4th, 2020 by Director Frank Bosworth, we - a collective of students and alumni - demand constructive change from the college to pursue progress and accountability. We request actionable measures with a set timeline in an effort to establish justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals....”
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 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.
African American Design Nexus
The Design Nexus emerged from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s inaugural Black in Design Conference where Dana McKinney, the President of the GSD’s African American Student Union and other students discussed ways of connecting and representing black designers. Dana created a list of over 2,000 African and African American designers that is a growing volume of work the Design Nexus is using to populate its content. When Phil Freelon and Mohsen Mostafavi discussed the potential for housing this project at the GSD, the idea of the African American Design Nexus was born.
Treaty Lands, Global Stories Treaty Lands, Global Stories (TLGS) is a student-led extracurricular initiative at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture formed in the Fall of 2016 by the three graduate students who sign this article. The name speaks to the spatial, political, and cultural context within which we operate here in Canada—a context that is not adequately addressed in the Eurocentric curricula of many Canadian architecture schools. TLGS advocates for greater diversity in the University of Waterloo’s architectural curriculum to reflect the Indigenous heritage of the land on which the school is situated, as well as the diversity within the school’s student body.
Ganton, Samuel, et al. "Treaty Lands, Global Stories: Designing an Inclusive Curriculum." Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada / Le Journal de la Société pour l'étude de l'architecture au Canada, volume 43, number 2, 2018, p. 15–25.
Initiatives & Statements by Professional Architecture Groups
Canadian Urban Institute
- A Call to Courage: An Open Letter to Canadian Urbanists, Jay Pitter
Cities in the Time of COVID-19: How do we respond to anti-Black racism in urbanist practices and conversations?
The Architecture Lobby (TAL)The Architecture Lobby is committed to sustained organizing toward racial justice and a more equitable profession. As we struggle to recongnize our own privileges and biases as a predominantly non-BIPOC organization, we are compelled more than ever to respond to the racism and resultant power structures that we perpetuate and benefit from. This calls for transformation.
National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) NOMA’s mission, rooted in a rich legacy of activism, is to empower our local chapters and membership to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development and design excellence.
- NOMAS chapter at YSoA was recently reinstated as of this Spring
Just. Help your organization optimize policies that improve social equity and enhance employee engagement. JUST marks the beginning of a new era of corporate transparency. ILFI invites organizations everywhere to evaluate themselves through this social justice and equity lens and become a JUST organization.
Equity by Design [EQxD]
Initiatives by student-led YSoA and New Haven Groups
YSoA Equality in Design (EID)
We are a student group at @yalearchitecture fighting for equality and inclusion in architectural education.
Ink and Vellum
In light of recent tragedies, Ink and Vellum have been using our platform and reach to gather donations for the Black Lives Matter cause.
NXTHVN is a multidisciplinary arts incubator that cultivates creative community in Dixwell. Through intergenerational mentorship, professional development and cross-sector collaboration, NXTHVN accelerates professional careers in the arts.
UCL Bartlett - The Bartlett stands in solidarity
USC - Dean’s Statement on Protest Demonstrations
GSD - “Minneapolis Affects Us All”
GSD - “Toward a New GSD”
GSD - Alumni Q&A/Mark Lee MArch ‘95, Chair of the Department of Architecture
GSAPP - A Message of Solidarity
UCLA - UCLA Arts Stands is Solidarity…
Princeton - Statement from President Eisgruber…
UVA - Message from Dean Ila Berman
UVA - Message from the School of Arch’s Inclusion + Equity Committee
UVA - Inclusion & Equity Plan
UVA - Call to Action (Dean’s response to Alumni’s response to Dean’s Statement)
UVA - In Solidarity: Catalyzing Cultural Change
Cornell AAP - The Urgency of Now
Taubman College - Seeking Spatial Justice at Taubman College
Pratt - Pratt Institute’s Statement on Racial Violence and Discrimination
Ohio State- Director's Statement