The UTSOA Committee on Diversity + Equity (CODE), a school-wide committee, was formed in 2015 as an ongoing commitment to advancing diversity and social equity within each program and the UTSOA as a whole. In order to meet our charge of advancing diversity and equity at our school, we must accelerate the pace and deepen the impact of our school's anti-racist work. The tragic deaths of George Floyd and countless other African Americans and people of color through police violence speak to the persistent institutionalized racism that has long plagued this nation. We stand inspired to act by our Undergraduate Architecture Student Council’s (UASC) words this week, and we stand with those who are speaking out against racism and injustice in this country. Together we must confront the evil truths of racism and work for change. As a committee and as a school, CODE and UTSOA must do more, including:
- We must learn about and apply anti-racist principles in our teaching, research, advising, and service.
- We must challenge the institutionalized and subconscious manifestations of racism in our classrooms, our studios, our facilities, our research, our engagements, and in our hallways;
- We must address how white privilege and white supremacy are both overt and are buried within the systems of our educational and professional institutions;
- We must acknowledge the historical shortcomings within the architecture, architectural history, historic preservation, design, and planning professions to engage professionals of color and serve communities of color;
- We must further increase enrollment of students of color in undergraduate and graduate programs;
- We must build communities in our hallways and in our cities that are truly safe and inclusive for all;
- We must create an environment where students, faculty, and staff of color are safe and encouraged to successfully obtain their academic and professional pursuits;
We believe that these goals will contribute to challenging racial injustice within our community. We must stand up for Black lives. We must create an environment where people of color are not only heard but can lead.
UTSOA CODE committee members are developing an anti-racist design syllabus with partners from several peer institutions, as part of the Design Futures: Design + Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion diversity and equity initiative. Those and other collected materials will be shared with the UTSOA administration, students, and faculty for future review and discussion. The CODE committee will continue to be a resource for promoting anti-racist policy and standards as well as for fostering learning and conversation within the UTSOA faculty and community.
2019-20 CODE Members:
Fernando Lara and Charlton Lewis (co-chairs);