In Focus

Racism and the Built Environment

 

The brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks, as well as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, are stark reminders that our country has failed to address the 400-year legacy of institutionalized racism. This legacy includes the building sector.

 

Buildings provide people with safety, shelter and comfort. But policies, practices and attitudes within the building sector have long served to marginalize people of color. These include restrictive zoning policies, redlining, discriminatory employment practices, neglect and destruction of vulnerable communities, and many others.

 

We formed BuildingAction earlier this year with the mission of advancing government policies that make buildings healthier and more sustainable. If we fail to ensure that all Americans benefit from the transformation of buildings, then we will have failed in our mission. That’s why one of our first webinars, in May, discussed how we make sustainability available to all. This must – and will – remain one of our core priorities.

 

In addition, BuildingAction fully supports the fundamental right of Americans to exercise their First Amendment rights and to assemble in public spaces, including buildings, to demand action to address systemic racism and injustice.

 

As we grow BuildingAction over the coming months and years, we pledge to demonstrate through our words and actions our ongoing commitment to a built environment that benefits - and is inclusive of - all Americans.

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