BCSLA’s Response to the Black Lives Matter and the Indigenous Solidarity Movement- Updated August 4, 2020
We respectfully send you this message today to expand and enrich the dialogue between us.
North American landscapes have been historically, and continue to be, shaped by forces rooted in colonial systems of oppression. Here in BC, through the expanding interest and proactive persistence of many practicing landscape architects, some progress has been made towards understanding and making positive changes to these systems, while fully recognizing we have so much more to learn and achieve, working together.
In recent weeks, our membership has witnessed and experienced the outrage and impact of the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and Chantel Moore, alongside countless other forms of active hate and systemic violence transpiring across the continental landscape. These deaths are some of the many that have set our world in motion for a movement to have a global society that no longer idly accepts systemic mal-treatment of the Black community, the Indigenous community, and other marginalized peoples of colour. In recent months in BC, we have seen anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and anti-Asian racism occur in our communities, and the raw impact that is transforming society in front of all of us.
Amidst the movement, our design community is responding and continuing to express interest in connecting as professionals and across disciplines to understand where systemic racism issues exist in design, and how we can all work towards a more equitable future for everyone.
The BCSLA Board of Directors is engaging in on-going conversation, both internally and externally, to determine our actions moving forward. We at the BCSLA are committed to take action to support the membership in any way possible as a regulatory body. Between the BCSLA, CSLA, the academic community, public and private practice, and advocacy networks, we all have an important part to play in dismantling racism, colonialism, and discrimination within the field of landscape architecture and by extension the design community. What remains important right now is that we provide a platform for all bodies to intersect and communicate so that we are not duplicating, but rather completing a complementary series of actions and initiatives moving forward.
What we want the BCSLA membership and broader community to know is that we hear you and we are here to support members seeking to connect. We organized discussions with a voluntary group of members on June 22, 2020 and July 20, 2020 to converse at a preliminary level the development of initiatives with our Board. If you are interested in receiving email correspondence from members engaging at this time and/or if you would like to participate in this initial conversation, we invite you to contact the BCSLA at email@example.com that we may copy you into a distribution list and Virtual Meeting Invitation. These conversations will help to guide our steps moving forward. The Board commits to doing our own learning as individuals while developing solidified actions for the Society going forward. We encourage you to engage in your own learning as well.
The BCSLA has been distributing weekly Wednesday Webinar emails to our members and subscribers with free online video resources related to race, equity, and landscape architecture. If you do not receive these emails and would like to subscribe, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any thoughts or comments you would like to share at this time, please address them to Executive Director Tara Culham, [email protected], and President Jacqueline Lowe, [email protected]. The BCSLA will continue to share updates regarding the steps we plan to take as a Society while we continue to learn and work together.
Thank you for your attention to this important statement.
The BCSLA Board of Directors
September 30 - National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will provide an opportunity for corporations and individuals to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. Several Alberta based professional organizations (AAFMP, AALA, ASPB and APPI) have collaborated to generate a great resource guide. We thank them for sharing the resource with us. Read more.
This document is not intended to be an exhaustive list of resources, but a scan of material that is available.
2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Survey
Thank everyone who participated in the 2020 Diversity Survey during the months of September, October and November, 2020, the CSLA, AALA, BCSLA, MALA and OALA collaborated on the profession's first Diversity Survey in Canada. The Executive Summary of the BC results are available here. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. Special thanks to Todd Reade, AALA Executive Director, for his extraordinary and tireless dedication to this project.
The CSLA and component associations have plans to circulate this survey annually to begin tracking data on a long-term basis. The results of the survey will also provide valuable data to working groups, task forces and committees in developing action plans that can be incorporated nationally and in our provinces and territories. The CSLA will release the National Results Summary soon.
We have just begun looking at the data – as are the various working groups. The first glance shows that there is lots of work to be done. As initially stated, more time to analyze the current data, and more surveys will be needed to paint a complete picture.
During the summer of 2019, the US-based Landscape Architecture Foundation conducted two surveys focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the discipline of landscape architecture. View the results here.