The killing of George Floyd and countless other African Americans and people of color by police, together with the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus pandemic on communities of color, have brought into clear focus the disparities and injustices in American society.
We recognize that ending systemic racism and inequality requires ongoing engagement, proactively antiracist policies, and a commitment to using our role within the profession to enact change. Historically, the field of planning and design has played a contributing role in racist and discriminatory practices within government, land development, the economy, and other parts of society. Well-known and overt examples include redlining and codes, covenants, and restrictions preventing people of color from moving into White neighborhoods. Other examples, less obvious but just as insidious, include the design of infrastructure that divides or segregates poor neighborhoods or communities of color.
We at PlaceWorks are committed to improving our profession and proactively addressing systemic racism to help create a more just society. Specifically, PlaceWorks is beginning a series of initiatives to address racism, injustice, and inequality, both immediately and over the long term. The following is a list of actions and changes we have identified to date:
- Educate ourselves and make resources available for continuous dialogue and learning
- Expand our recruitment and hiring practices
- Become more selective and intentional about the projects we work on
- Improve our ability to conduct authentic and meaningful engagement
- Build relationships with community-based organizations (CBOs) and BIPOC-owned businesses
- Support organizations that work on social justice and community development
- We recognize that we, as individuals and as a company, still have much to learn and do.
We welcome feedback on our work as we hold ourselves accountable to actively promote greater equity.