AIA Statement: This is a time of reflection

Dan Hart, 2022 President

Lakisha Woods, EVP/Chief Executive Officer

This is a time of reflection. There are no words that can adequately express our compassion or sorrow for the families touched by the unspeakable and senseless tragedy visited on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas this week. Yet again, we are reminded that life is precious and impermanent, that we must cherish the moments we have with those who we hold most dear, and that we are all connected because we are all human.

The outpouring of love, concern, and sorrow following this latest school shooting is a small light in the darkness reminding us of what’s best about humanity—compassion, courage, and understanding. Our collective, and compounding traumas—school shootings, community violence, armed conflicts around the world, a global pandemic and epidemic of mental health issues, and inequity in society make it more important than ever to prioritize kindness, empathy, and grace. That can be hard because this era of trauma can weaken our connections to our best selves, our family, friends, and community.

The AIA is speaking out because the built world touches everyone’s life and because our members use the power of design to make a positive difference every day. The AIA is speaking out to put voice to our members’ collective sorrow and steadfast resolve to achieve a positive difference through the power of design.

That is why we all must work to advance a vision of society that alienates no one and empowers everyone equitably. We can realize that vision by remembering that of all the titles we may have—spouse, sibling, friend, coworker—the one appellation that matters the most is being human.

As we find ways to cope with this latest trauma, let’s take a few minutes over the long Memorial Day weekend to reflect on how we can work together to create, enhance, promote, and protect a sense of community, connection, and sense of belonging, for everyone, everywhere in our daily lives and through our work in communities.  

As employees and employers, we recognize you may be grappling with how to address these traumatic matters in your workplace and as a design professional. As you may know, AIA was integral to the enactment of a law that created the School Safety Clearinghouse—a multi federal agency effort to address school safety through a variety of efforts (architects, mental health professionals, law enforcement, resources, etc.), including design: https://www.schoolsafety.gov

Below are additional helpful resources:

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