We’re living in an unprecedented time of change – change that is uncomfortable but necessary. Black Lives Matter. It’s up to each of us individually and as an organization to jump off the sidelines and identify what we can start doing to dismantle systemic racism in our firms, our industry and our community at large. It won’t be easy or comfortable. Positive societal progress is necessary for Black people to survive and thrive. If we don’t change, we will fail ourselves, our Black colleagues and our industry.
As President of SMPS New York chapter, I know that social media posts or simple statements of solidarity are not enough. The problem of inherent racism in the AEC industry will not be solved with a simple checklist of promises. Our chapter’s future actions will demonstrate our impassioned commitment to change as we move forward. As a start, we have made a monetary donation to the New York Urban League.
SMPS-NY will be a force for change, and we will hold ourselves accountable for making change.
Individual Actions of the Board of Directors
- We acknowledge that we stand on a long history of systemic racism and trauma.
- We acknowledge our shortcomings with speaker selection on some of our past client panels and will re-evaluate our approach to ensure diverse representation.
- We agree to use our platform within the industry to promote and amplify the voices of Black marketing/BD professionals in the NYC AEC industry.
- We will challenge the white people within our community to acknowledge their own racism, decenter themselves, and actively engage in anti-racist practices.
- We will commit to our continued education as individuals and as an organization so that we can uproot the systemic racism on which we currently stand.
- Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
- Anti-Racism Resources
- In addition to our actions as individuals, our Director of Diversity and Inclusion will examine how SMPS-NY participates in these systems of racism and how we can be a better engine for anti-racism.
- SMPS-NY will develop a meaningful track of EDI programming to be presented throughout the year and at THE Marketing Event. We will also continue to ensure we hear from diverse voices at our Client Panel, Professional Development, and Leadership events.
- SMPS-NY will actively build relationships with local chapter leaders of peer associations including NOMA, AIA, NSBE, NAMC, ULI, PWC, ASID, etc. Through these relationships we will seek to:
- Increase the percentage of Black members within our organization, and ultimately the diversity of our Board of Directors.
- Identify, confront, and address barriers to professional development and career advancement that keep Black professionals from reaching senior levels within our firms.
- Create better, stronger, and more accessible pathways and resources for our Black colleagues to thrive in their careers as AEC marketing and BD professionals.
- Provide guidance and support to further the mission of these organizations by providing marketing/BD educational resources to their members in order to help them elevate their firms.