The latest police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in our own city makes clear that the injustices and excessive brutality towards Black people continue even in a time of highly visible national awakening to the persistence of racism. Georgia Tech's School of Architecture stands in solidarity with Black communities demanding action to undo white supremacy and the racism embedded in our institutions from law enforcement to voting to economic policies to education. We support protesters on the front line and advocacy behind the scenes fighting for social justice, anti-racism and an end to police violence against Black people. We grieve with the families and friends of the Black lives that were unnecessarily taken - George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the many others before them.
As part of a public institution of higher education, we have a public obligation to our students and society to do everything within our power to end racism. This is a pivotal moment for the future of justice and equity in our country while also being a defining moment in our students’ lives. The many scenes of multi-racial youth walking together in protest against injustice to BIPOC send a strong message that this generation is united in their call for change. As a school, we must take the momentum of this moment and build an anti-racist educational infrastructure to assure that the thoughts, emotions, anger and motivation that are driving the movement are sustained.
The first step toward meaningful change in our own house is to fully understand our role in perpetuating the problem. The School of Architecture commits to a critical self-reflection of how our school has been blind to our complicity in reinforcing racist behavior and policies and will take immediate corrective actions. We will engage our Black and other marginalized students, faculty, staff and alumni to understand their experiences and to provide guidance for change.
This process has already started. Working with our four student organizations, National Organization for Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS), American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), Equity in Architecture (EQiA), and ECO, the school leadership team is developing an action plan that includes the following goals.
As I begin my second term as Chair of the School of Architecture, this will be my top priority. I will need your help.
Scott Marble, FAIA
William H. Harrison Chair