We affirm that Black Lives Matter.
The CSLA condemns racism, bigotry, and oppression in all its forms. It is imperative that each of us, as associations, employers, and individuals, do our part to eradicate systemic racism. Let us be clear: there is no place for racism in our association or in the profession of landscape architecture. Landscape architects have the power to design places that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, we recognize that design which ignores those values can bring harm to Black, Indigenous, and other racialized people in Canada. The profession of landscape architecture must not be silent about the injustices that people of colour are facing. Systemic racism in the built environment has taken many forms, including redlining, gentrification, and disinvestment. Environmental injustices, including lack of equitable access to clean air and water, and greater concentrations of pollution continue to plague these communities. We know that many of you share our concerns for those who have been hurt and impacted and are searching for answers.
We have a long journey ahead of us to see diversity, inclusion, and equity represented in our profession and to break down the barriers within the profession. However, the CSLA recognizes that dismantling systemic racism requires more than words. We require action to unravel injustice. The CSLA commits to working on those actions to ensure the profession is inclusive, right our historic wrongs, and lead the profession to be part of the solution, not the problem. As the voice of the profession in Canada, we are committing to leading positive change within the profession.
Addressing the issues of racism and inequality will require significant commitment and ongoing effort by the CSLA and by each of us as individuals. We are dedicated to working towards a framework for understanding and creating solutions that help bring an end to these longstanding injustices. The CSLA has united the provincial, territorial, and regional component landscape architecture associations, has amended its Strategic Plan, has created a web page with resources, and has shared important social media content as a start to this framework. This statement is but a first step on a long journey.
We believe that the pillars of the CSLA’s Reconciliation Action Plan are an exemplary guiding framework for moving forward:
- Acknowledge that harm has been inflicted
- Create an awareness of the past and atone for those behaviours, and
- Act to change our behaviour and create opportunities for inclusivity
Racism, injustice, and intolerance must come to an end. We commit to taking action to change, no matter how long it takes.