Statement on Structural and Systemic Racism
The Board of the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Planning Association is repulsed by the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Bothan Jean, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and countless others who have fallen victim to structural racism.
The daily lived violence of racism has defined our communities, cities, regions and our country for centuries. The unequal impact of the Covid-19 crisis on our communities also clearly illustrates how deeply-seated and complex these structures of institutionalized racism are today.
As a profession, urban planners work to shape future outcomes in housing, commerce, transportation, education, public health, open spaces, and many other facets of our localized and place-based lives. We carry a special responsibility with respect to the history of structural racism, because historically, our professional practices, policies, and the administrative mechanisms we created have contributed to and reinforced the racial segregation and social disparities in health and wealth that divide our towns, cities, and regions. As a profession, we have commenced the work to dismantle the legacy of institutionalized racism. But we know this is far from complete, and we pledge to continue this work as planners and as community members.
Today, we stand firm against structural and systemic racism. Today, we remind ourselves of the history behind us and the challenge that remains. As we move forward, we are committed to working with everyone in our communities to dismantle institutionalized racism by finding and instituting solutions which empower and advance all people. We champion justice, equality, access, and inclusion as non-negotiable prerequisites for this work.