A special message to members

The impassioned responses to the recent AIA press statement concerning the future presidential administration make clear that the experience of this election season is unparalleled in recent American history. It has left our country—and many of our colleagues within AIA membership—concerned, hurt, and divided. We deeply regret the harm that our statement caused.

This new environment demonstrates to us that the practice of architecture, as a business and a social endeavor, can no longer be treated as business as usual. Our obligation to you, as members of AIA, must be crystal clear. We respect the many heartfelt voices, both supportive and critical, that call upon AIA to state what we stand for in light of the position of the new administration on many of these very issues.

First, we must reassert to you the core AIA values that existed before this new government administration, and will thrive throughout and beyond it. We are committed to these AIA values:

  • Supporting human and civil rights, the universal respect for human dignity, and the unbiased treatment of all persons in employment, civic, and business transactions
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion as central to our professional mission. This means that we must renew and rebuild our country's social infrastructure—the buildings that define our communities such as our schools, libraries, and cultural arts facilities—based on mutual respect, empathy, and concern for the health, safety, and well-being of all Americans
  • Recognition that diversity is a cultural ethos – a way of thinking or acting that fosters inclusion and enhances our membership, our profession, and the quality of life in our communities. We represent and serve all members of society, regardless of race, nationality, color, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, religious practices, or even political beliefs
  • Our commitment to leverage the transformative power of architecture to design a better world. This means creating more vibrant, equitable living environments that embody our nation’s democratic ideals
  • Our belief that communities thrive when people are sheltered and safe, and that justice demands equal access to healthy living environments and affordable housing
  • Sustainability as a cornerstone of our work, particularly in light of a changing climate embodied in the 2030 Commitment. We uphold the architects’ seminal role in guarding the planet for future generations, by designing with appropriate materials and systems for energy efficiency, resilience, and health
  • Drive positive legislative and policy outcomes at all levels of government and to promote the value of architects

We understand why our members are upset. Many of the president-elect’s statements and policies run counter to the values of AIA and its members. Let us be clear: we will be unwavering in our adherence to these values with this new administration.

To do that well we must ensure that we are listening to you. Let us know your thoughts and concerns by contacting feedback@aia.org. We will use everyone’s comments to plan future face-to-face listening opportunities in the coming months. Your comments and feedback will provide direction and inspiration for our profession throughout the term of the new administration.

In closing, we stand by our values, and we will work to unite this profession under those values. We need your engagement and your voice. We can only do this together.

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