AIAVT Supports Black Lives Matter Protests and Protesters Nationwide

As a spotlight is once again shone on the tremendous injustices in our society, AIA Vermont is reflecting on the history of racism and prejudice in Vermont, and how architects and architecture can work to create positive change for the future. We encourage our members to do the same.

AIA Vermont supports the Black Lives Matter protesters nationwide. We stand in solidarity with those who are voicing their long-held anger, disappointment, and frustration at systemic oppression of black communities.  We are morally obligated as design professionals to take an active role in building the sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future we collectively envision, and we will never get there without first fighting for equity and human rights.

Taking time to reflect on our state’s unique history is a modest beginning to a longer-term commitment to recognize and confront all forms of racism regardless of the ethnic diversity of our state. Although Vermont was the first state to adopt an official anti-slavery clause in its state constitution, racism has a long and storied history in our state. A Vermont Digger article titled “Green Mountains racial history isn’t black and white ” calls out the underrepresented history of slavery and abolition in Vermont. VPR recently published a piece titled, “ What Does Racism Look Like in Vermont? ” The Stowe Reporter published an article last year, “ What’s it like to be black in Vermont? ”, which examines racial biases, hate crimes, and the black experience in Vermont.

AIA Vermont is committed to supporting anti-racist efforts in our Vermont communities and beyond.  As professionals, we are trained to consider multiple technical, cultural, and aesthetic viewpoints in designs that ensure the ‘health, safety, and welfare’ of the public. AIAVT is ready and willing to take a hard look at our organization, learn where and how we can do more, and take action. We welcome suggestions, resources, partnerships, and alliances that bring us closer to meaningful next steps.

Resources and Information for Vermont Architects

AIA National committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion 

AIA’s Guides for Equitable Practice

National Organization of Minority Architects – NOMA

Social Justice by Design

Segregated by Design 

Implicit Bias Online Testing

5 essential books to read on making cities anti-racist: according to architects who specialize in equity and justice.