I keep seeing posts saying that “2020 has been canceled.” To me, it has really only brought things into more focus. It’s been a really heavy few weeks for all of us. Our hearts have been absorbed with all that has occurred in Minneapolis and now, around the world. For us, we are sad and angry about the murder of George Floyd and the systemic issues that our Black community faces. We know our Black colleagues, Black friends and Black neighbors are hurting and silence is not an option because Black Lives Matter. We believe saying something is better than saying nothing, and taking action is vital.
Over the past two weeks our team has been attending virtual listening forums (use password 6q#F$!?? to watch) learning and collaborating with our American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) National Board members, our industry partners, employees and our community. We have made financial donations and encouraged our industry to give back in their own way and to heal. There’s much to do and we don’t plan to stop. Here is the statement that was shared on behalf of the ASID National Board of Directors
Graphic on behalf of ASID
It is painfully obvious that America must deal with the clear injustices against the African American community. The problems of inequality in this country are complex and have deep roots. We all must be willing to put in the work to find solutions.
The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the latest in a long string of deaths that exemplify how black people are treated differently. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) stands firmly against racial inequity, systemic racism, and violence and destruction of any kind.
We are not innocent bystanders. As an organization, we need to reflect on how to increase diversity within the profession, seek representation that better reflects the population, and stand against business practices that harm African Americans. We are committed to putting in the work to realize a future where environments do their part in peacefully bringing people together in difference and diversity.
We must play a role in finding solutions.
– ASID National Board of Directors
Additionally, in light of the groundswell of Black Lives Matter protests across the country, the Black Interior Designers Network (BIDN) launched a two-prong campaign designed to confront discrimination in the design industry and raise funds for the organization. The initiative asks individuals to share a call-to-action tile, below, and a link to a donation page on social media. Urging the community to post today, the BIDN shares strategies to address discrimination across the industry, from within shelter publications to inside design showrooms. The goal is to raise both awareness and funds, with a beginning target of raising $250,000 to benefit the organization’s annual conference, events, resources, and operations, as well as the NAACP.
Graphic on behalf of the Black Interior Designer’s Network
In a letter addressed to non-Black members of the industry, Keia McSwain, BIDN president, writes, “It’s important during this time to recognize that silence is no longer acceptable. Empathize out loud! It is time to take a stand against racism, both explicit and systemic. Have the tough conversations, educate yourselves on systemic racism here in the United States, protest, be an active anti-racist voice and leader in our community, donate funding to the Black design community and other organizations of color. Make your contributions substantive and systematic! Solutions require long-term investment and time. It is not the responsibility of Black and brown people to teach others how to be better. At BIDN, our mission has always been and will continue to be rooted in connecting, supporting, and empowering.”
The conversation doesn’t end here. Please share questions and opinions in the comments below. We truly value your thoughts and dialogue because that is how we learn and evolve.