Statement of Solidarity with the African American Community

The UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUPD) stands in solidarity with the African American community and communities of color in Kansas City and nationwide against racism and injustice.

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and too many others, and the police brutality that continues to threaten the quality of life in American cities, is untenable.

We are deeply concerned for the safety of our students, our neighborhood partners and leaders, our colleagues, and their families.

We know that many African American families have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and were already suffering from great personal and family losses. Our heart goes out to you – our colleagues, friends and neighbors.

As educators and professionals, we are well aware of our responsibility to promote the values of equity and social justice. Hate, white supremacy, and racism have no place in our society – and especially in the public institutions that have been established to serve and protect.

The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics makes it abundantly clear that social justice is our responsibility:

We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.[i]

The American Institute of Architects has also adopted policies and programs related to equity, diversity and inclusion.[ii] We support the local and national American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Planning Association (APA) statements against racism and violence against African Americans and communities of color. We urge these professional organizations to invest significant financial and professional resources to help rebuild urban neighborhoods equitably, to fight racism within the professions across the country, and to expand access to planning and architecture for marginalized communities.

The AUPD faculty commit ourselves to anti-racism as a core principle of our approach to social justice in our teaching, research and service. The UMKC Center for Neighborhoods in AUPD reaffirms its mission to serve the Kansas City community, including many neighborhoods that have struggled to survive and thrive despite generations of disinvestment and racially-biased policies, through research and outreach.

For more information, please contact: 816-235-1725.

[i] https://www.planning.org/ethics/ethicscode/

[ii] https://www.aia.org/resources/24301-equity-diversity-and-inclusion