Dear AIA Brooklyn Members –

The recent jarring murders of six Asian women begs the sad question, Will we ever learn to love each other? These women are hardly the first Asian people to be targeted this past year because of their race and ethnicity, but their terrible deaths have awakened us once again to the hatred, prejudice and injustice in this country that we cannot ignore and must act to end. As we stated just nine months ago and must restate now (read AIA Brooklyn Statement on racial inequality here): As an organization of professionals and as human beings, we should demonstrate that we are willing to rise to the challenge that this moment in our history has presented.  We must be actively anti-racist.  AIA Brooklyn stands in solidarity with the Asian Community by denouncing ALL racial inequality and violence.

We at AIA Brooklyn continue to be committed to intervening to bring about change.  We are advocating for required continuing education to include credits in the subjects of equity, diversity, and inclusion; we are expanding the scope of our Scholarship Foundation to reach students at the high school level, in the hope of nurturing the growth of minorities in architecture while creating lasting bonds to support their success and we will continue to be an active voice in the chorus of equality, human rights and fairness for ALL.

The importance of recognizing a hate crime and reporting it is made clear by Neal Katyal, Law professor and Supreme Court lawyer (from his “Courtside” podcast of 3/21/2021, on the Atlanta murders): A hate crime is “a crime of violence that is motivated by some sort of animus based on race or other characteristics; it is not a stand-alone offense, it is an enhancement of another crime… Criminal law is not just about sentences, it is about labels. It is about reflecting a person’s offense and labeling it the correct thing… The point of criminal sanctions is to make the community whole again… You can’t bring the victims back, but you are able to reflect the gravity of the offense – to label it what it is and allow the community to repair itself.  Calling these crimes just murder does not capture the gravity of what happened.  The crimes are broader than the individual victim… If you see an incident, report it.”