June 2020 in America
We are all hurting and grieving the senseless death of George Floyd. This tragedy is a graphic, very real, and stark reminder of the work we have left to do to address the embedded racial inequities of our society. The resulting protests and anger of people in the streets across America has touched raw emotion in each of us. For some, the unrest is miles away; for others, the disruption is right outside their door. The impact is felt by all of us, albeit in very different ways depending on your color, gender, and standing in society.
The pain and turmoil in the African American community across this nation is not a new pain. It’s very old, and it’s a legacy that will take a very long time to heal.
Today is the day to begin the healing in our cities, our neighborhoods, and on the street that each of us lives. At the neighborhood level, we need a new and different conversation. We must listen and learn, and we must be brave enough to have conversations about the unspoken issues at the heart of race relations in our nation. And when we fall short – and we will – we must practice empathy and remain committed to listening and learning. Not retreat to that comfortable place where the people look just like us, as we have done all too often in the past.
The myriad of issues at hand cannot be resolved to a schedule. But the conversation and our own commitments to foster change must start now. We must appreciate this conversation, and the resulting change will be a continual process requiring enduring empathy and unwavering understanding to transform our communities and our country into the society we all aspire to be.
The same is true of needed conversations within the walls of our employee-owned firm to further instill a culture of transparency, equity, diversity, and inclusion. A design firm fueled by a meritocracy and not a mirrortocracy.
Now is the time for DLR Group and the greater design industry to lead. Participate in the conversation where you live. Join a peaceful protest march, organize a community meeting, help restore a neighborhood, and use your design voice to lead change in your community.
For DLR Group, our promise to elevate the human experience through design has never meant more.