November 15, 2016 / Member News

Open Letter to Robert Ivy

By Alice Brooks, AIA – Equity Committee Co-Chair
Dear Mr. Ivy,
We pen our voices in unison with others who are beyond disappointed with the perceived collective support the AIA has announced this week for the President-Elect and the newly elected Congress. There is much harm in turning a blind eye to human rights issues, and in the permission granted by an elite few to normalize a discourse of hate in this country. Your silence on these issues is not a welcome position and has begun to alienate those we need to serve. Where do you account for the health, safety, and welfare of our industry? Your naivety devalues the work of so many (Equity-by-Design, the Women’s Leadership Summit, NOMA, etc.). Equity raises the relevance of architecture. Divisions do not bear meaningful progress.
Our clients become more diverse by the millisecond and we have the obligation to respond in kind. Our architecture schools are beginning to reflect the world populous. We must continue to measure our metrics, educate on diversity and ethics, communicate with compassion, find empathy, close the pay gap, diversify our juries, and use our earthly resources with a nod to the future.
You have made a mistake in speaking on behalf of us, the AIA membership. Please familiarize yourself with the remarkable work being done by the AIA National Council on Diversity and the many forward thinking local chapters, including AIA Baltimore’s Equity committee. Our commitment remains to promote an inclusive environment for all design professionals. We celebrate diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and achievements by providing networking opportunities, a platform for change, and a forum for mentorship and personal and career development. We will continue our energies to ensure a positive outcome.
We welcome your response.