Black Lives MatterJune 24, 2020
For weeks we have been seeing messages of solidarity and support for Black Lives Matter and calls for social justice reform. FFF supports the BLM protests and has been discussing where we fit into the required systemic changes as architects and Vermonters. We have taken some time to discuss how we plan to back our message with actions, rather than stating a simple message of support. Words are easy, but actions are where positive change can truly begin. Here is our position:
BLACK LIVES MATTER. White people, Vermont, and FFF must immediately do more to fight for long overdue equality and justice for people of color.
Whether it be systems created around education, justice, policing, housing, financing and much more, it is time to take action, make commitments, and follow through with substantive change. This is FFF’s commitment moving forward:
1. We will discuss with our employees the importance of BLM and racial justice so that their actions as ambassadors of FFF reflect our values of equity, inclusion, and social justice.
2. We will bring in an outside person to talk to our firm about racial inequity in Vermont, and learn what role we play as designers in our communities.
3. We will review our policies and procedures and make necessary changes to ensure we have proper language that promotes social justice and resets our environment for inclusionary change.
4. In the past, we have prioritized closing the gender gap in architecture when hiring in this male-dominated field. We now understand we need to do more to close the racial gap, and commit to expanding our hiring process to find qualified people of color and those from more diverse backgrounds.
5. We commit to pledging 50% of our annual charitable contributions to Vermont organizations helping people of color, and another 25% will go towards organizations specifically focused on organized racial change. We will take a hard look at what organizations we are supporting annually and prioritize social justice reform.
6. We will support individuals at FFF who want to get involved with local social justice organizations by allowing volunteer time and financial support as needed.
7. We will evaluate what we have accomplished each year to help social justice reform and make adjustments. We understand this is an ongoing, long-term process and we are committed to the journey.
If you have thoughts, recommendations or just want to talk, please reach out to us. We are open and willing to discuss how we can make an impact together.
Freeman French Freeman, ArchitectsBack
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