Yet again, we feel the urgent need to come together. In the face of violence and such great loss in our own community—on the heels of the frightening shooting in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday, March 22—we reiterate that AIA Colorado is here for you as a safe space.
This horrific act comes just days after the violent actions against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Atlanta. And although we are far from Georgia, it hit rather close to home. In just the last year, we’ve witnessed louder racist voices drowning out those of humanity, diversity, and hope; we’ve seen innocent Black and Brown Americans beaten, bloodied, and murdered by those too ignorant or afraid of the idealistic melting pot America had promised to be for us all; we’ve watched as abuse and attack of human differences was normalized at the highest level of leadership in our country.
On behalf of AIA Colorado, I want to stoke the embers of justice and equity in light of recent extremist, biased, and discriminatory rhetoric we’ve been witness or even victim to this last year. We stand passionately alongside our national AIA partners, our allied professionals, and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) in their recent statements. We denounce all acts of hate against the AAPI community.
Our hearts sit heavy—for our neighbors in Boulder, for our AAPI community, those whose lives were taken, who mourn loved ones, whose stories did not gain national media attention but who still deserve to be protected and supported and welcomed, and for those who have felt the last year drastically and extremely. And still we fight, at AIA Colorado, for a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive world here at home and wherever our work and generally humanity might reach.
While letters such as these are becoming more and more urgent and necessary, they can often feel lonely and hollow. Please know your AIA Colorado community is here for you. Know that we continue to prioritize our contribution to the brightness and positivity in our small part of the world. We stand in solidarity with our minority communities. We pledge to always be a safe place for those who need one, and we condemn any hint of hate, discrimination, and abuse. We urge our members, firms, and community allies to stand up and be vocal and committed in combatting racism.
Our board of directors, committees, staff, and members must be there for one another, and we must also hold ourselves, each other, and our communities accountable. In the words of our National NOMA President Jason Pugh, we must stay B.R.A.V.E.:
- Banish racism.
- Reach out to those who are grieving.
- Advocate for the disinherited.
- Vote in every American election.
- Engage each human as you’d have them engage you.
Do this for your fellow AIA Colorado members, your fellow community members, and your fellow humans.
Rachael Johnson, AIA
AIA Colorado President