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Black lives matter.

June 2, 2020

Our hearts are heavy. Van Alen Institute stands in solidarity with protestors demanding an end to anti-Black police violence and structural racism. We also recognize that words are not enough. We will be making a contribution to The Bail Project in support of arrested protestors, and we encourage our peers to do the same.

While good design is rooted in idealism and empathy, the design field can reflect and perpetuate our country’s deep inequities. We lift up this statement from NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects): “As architects, how can we protect the health, safety and welfare of the public if our country is not properly including Black Americans as full members of our society?” As an architecture-centric organization, we commit to asking ourselves this every day and pursuing work grounded in radical listening and in service of healing solutions.

We are also sharing the below words from the Brooklyn Museum and are committed to these intentional acts:

  1. Educating ourselves on the history of racism in America.
  2. Having uncomfortable conversations with our families, friends, and co-workers about systemic racism and Blackness in America.
  3. Exercising our right to be heard, protest, and gather safely and peacefully in solidarity.
  4. Supporting organizations that work for positive change.
  5. Contacting our elected officials in support of legislative and policy change.⁠
  6. Voting. Change often starts at the polls, so make sure to register and participate in local elections.
  7. Filling out the 2020 Census to ensure fair representation as well as access to healthcare and education. ⁠

Resources and actions:

Design Justice for Black Lives

Anti-Racist Resources

Anti-Racism Design Resources

BIPOC Studios

To our network:

We are here and we are listening. Please reach out if you need anything.