Like many, we are deeply saddened by the recent events in our nation.
The fact that COVID-19 and its economic struggles have been closely followed by waves of protests and anger demanding broader societal change is not coincidental—whenever there are times of crisis amongst humanity, the shortcomings and fragilities of our institutions and the most vulnerable of our communities become readily exposed and demand to be ignored no longer.
As thousands of people around the US and the world have gathered to protest police violence and the unjust deaths of black Americans like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, we have been compelled to take a closer look at ourselves and the injustices that have been perpetuated across our societies for far too long.
We acknowledge that racism is a complex cooperative system dependent on a myriad of fundamental institutions – academic, political, commercial, and otherwise – and we will not resign ourselves to complicity. At kanju, we believe that the design profession has a critical role to play in the short- and long-term outcomes of change and that we are obligated to each other, to the built environment, and in solidarity with the black community to work towards building a healthy, inclusive and just society.
Whether personally or professionally, now is the time to reach higher than we thought possible. We cannot un-know or un-see what the pandemic has exacerbated and what advocacy has brought to light over the past few months. Now is the time to listen harder, think bigger, join together, and act with creativity and conviction.
While much remains uncertain in 2020, one thing is not – this year will make its mark on history.
We can and must do better. And we will.
The kanju Team
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