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context from Emergent Grounds 01.13.21
A cogenerated catalogue of ongoing student and alumni practitioners organizing for antiracist, anticolonial, feminist education in the built environment design professions
Happy New Year y’all,
Thank you for your continued attention and actions towards anti-racist transformation of design education and practice, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
January 6, 2021 was, in the words of radio host Kai Wright, ‘the American story, in a single day’. An attempted insurrection incited by President Trump threatened the lives of janitors and foodservice workers, journalists and staffers, Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill and members of many communities across Washington, DC.
The traitorous mob disrupted the certification of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory in the 2020 presidential election on the same day the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock became the first Black senator from Georgia, ever. As we attempted to process the day’s events and their aftermath, we appreciated this roundup of writing collected by historian Megan Kate Nelson.
On January 1st, we launched the initial pages of our Emergent Grounds in Design Education website, eg-de.org. Check it out to learn more about where we come from and what we’re up to.
Architecture schools across the country are looking to hire new professors. One posting that stood out to us was put out by Belmont University, a private Christian college in Nashville, Tennessee. Belmont created its undergraduate architecture program in 2019, making this a unique opportunity to be a part of a still-emerging program.
Cal Poly Pomona students organized a scholarship, BRAVELY LEADING ADVANCEMENT, CURIOSITY, AND KNOWLEDGE IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE (B.L.A.C.K. in L.A.), to prioritize a future for landscape architectural education that is community-focused, equitable, relevant, and sustainable. Read more about their effort here1.
Our spirits were lifted this week by news from the shores of Lake Michigan, where Design Trust Chicago is building capacity for an ecosystem of community-based design practitioners atop existing infrastructure of advocacy practice. Read all about it in Architects Newspaper.
Students and alumni of the Andrews University School of Architecture in Berrien Springs, Michigan wrote a letter to their administration in the summer of 2020 calling attention to racism and bigotry at their institution. Their continuing organizing includes a MLK Day event, the Anti-Racist School of Architecture Symposium, which will be held Jan. 18th from 8 AM-4 PM CT. Check out the schedule and register here! Among the panelists will be Emergent Grounds and the UVA Call to Action’s own organizer, My-Anh Nguyen.
Dr. Andrea Roberts, professor of urban planning at Texas A&M University and founder of the Texas Freedom Colonies Project, is speaking on ‘Reconstructing Black Worlds: Counternarrative Creation as Preservation Practice’ at the Columbia Center for Archaeology on Friday, Jan. 22 at 3:10 PM CT. Register to attend via Zoom here!
Emergent Grounds co-facilitators Chris and My-Anh will be hosting a webinar, ‘Emergent Grounds in Design Education: Roots of Solidarity’, for the Association for Community Design on Wednesday, 1/27 at 3:30 PM CT.
We’ll follow up later this month with a registration link for our ACD webinar. Meanwhile, stay safe.
Black Lives Matter.
My-Anh Nguyen, Michelle Barrett and Chris Daemmrich
Emergent Grounds in Design Education