Support to the Asian American and
Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community (2021)
We are our community. The National Organization of Minority Architects, Kansas City NOMAKC is comprised of a variety of ethnicities, genders and nationalities committed to creating better environments through our hand as designers and our hearts and minds as American Citizens.
The events of the past week and beyond, continue a troubling trend of where our fellow Asian citizens are targets of unwarranted racial aggression resulting in senseless deaths and mental trauma. The voices of change must no longer simply be heard through our media outlets, they must become our voices through connections with our colleagues.
Our collegial connections are impactful as these are the spaces that we collaborate on changes of thought and direction on a daily basis. We must not let terms like “fetishized” simplify this as a one-off predator, as these thoughts are continuously bred in darkness and isolation. We must leverage our power in communities that can change mindsets that lead to such bigotry and discrimination.
On Black Racial Injustice (2020)
In recent years, our architecture and design industry has been rummaging for solutions to address the glaring lack of diversity within the field. A field that is meant to provide and realize vision for our cities and the people that live in it. If it is not painstakingly clear that these efforts are futile without facing the hideous truth of racism, bigotry, and bias within our communities head-on: then this journey that we are all on to better our industry will always miss the mark. Architecture and other professions have typically taken the “politically correct” route of leaving issues like racism on the doorstep of their pristine glass entries as they proceed with business; not realizing just how much everyone has a duty and responsibility in making these injustices right in and outside of the office. The industry cannot wonder where it can recruit bright and promising black designers or even promote black architects to executive board positions within firms if these potential candidates are not even around to realize their full potential because their lives are taken by a community that persecutes them for the color of their skin.
By its sheer existence, it is evident that NOMA understands the inequalities and inhumanity served to minorities throughout the nation. However, we as well, have only emphasized the architecture and industry side of race and diversity, and our focus needs to shift. The change that desperately needs to happen is for design firms to come together and join NOMAKC and like-minded organizations to support our communities of color and become a collective that embraces it’s vibrant diversity in and out of the workplace.