Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Be BRAVE: A Statement from The National Organization of Minority Architects


NOMA is asking our community to take an active role in eliminating the racial biases accounting for a myriad of social, economic, and health disparities, and most importantly, resulting in the loss of human lives—black lives. NOMA was founded in Detroit by 12 black architects in 1971. Born out of the Civil Rights Movement, NOMA was formed for the purpose of minimizing the effect of racism on the architecture profession.

“The air in our nation is thick with a profound sense of grief and despair. Our collective air is so very thick that it is literally hard to breathe,” said Kimberly Dowdell, NOMA national president, in the statement. “We struggle to grasp for air as we all navigate a global pandemic coupled with the deadly and pervasive virus called racism that has plagued America for over four centuries.”

Today, NOMA is calling on its members and the broader professional community to condemn racism in light of the recent tragedies, including the murder of George Floyd, and many other black men and women, who lost their lives due to the hatred sparked by racism.

“Our existing mission is to champion diversity within the design professions by promoting the excellence, community engagement, and professional development of our members,” Dowdell said. “While these issues remain important to us, we acknowledge those words feel hollow in times such as this. Unfortunately, these trying times of racial unrest occur too frequently. While the recalibration of our mission has been in the works for quite some time, our national board has voted to enact NOMA’s new mission statement, effective immediately.”

The new mission statement is as follows:

“NOMA’s mission, rooted in a rich legacy of activism, is to empower our local chapters and membership to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development, and design excellence.”


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