June 15, 2020 Dear GSD Alumni, Covid-19 revealed the impact of structural racism in its starkest terms. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery underscore the pernicious truth that America remains a country marred by rampant racism. The ongoing display of police brutality on Black Americans across our country shows us that we, as a nation, have turned our backs on our own. As a collective design community, we are complicit. Failure to take serious, sustained and meaningful action to effect systemic change will undermine current and future generations of Black and brown people, shattering dreams and cutting lives short. As GSD Alumni, we have privilege and we have power. Our sphere of influence encompasses the design of the public realm, buildings, workplaces, transportation, technology, health care facilities, homes and communities. The time to use that power is now. Let us show, through our actions, that Black Lives Matter. As individuals, let’s take specific action within the wide sphere of our influence. Let's make ourselves accountable for taking action against racism. Let’s examine the hiring and promotion policies of our firms - not only for future and current employees - but also for our partners and contractors. Let’s build community. Let’s mentor. Let’s make space to learn from others. Let’s donate to student financial aid that specifically supports the most impacted students in our communities. As a community, let’s commit together.
- We will actively help recruit Black and brown students, speakers, design jurists, administrators and faculty to the GSD.
- We will commit to raising a meaningful fund designed to underwrite the learning journeys of future generations of Black and brown students.
- We will work to dismantle structural racism by collaborating with our fellow institutions to build coalitions of change.
- We will work together with the GSD and our broader communities of practice to address the systemic biases that have shaped our discourse, learning and practice for far too long.