At Waterleaf, we believe Black Lives Matter. We are a collective of individuals that have chosen to come together to use our skills and creativity to help make the world better. We have a responsibility to do so, for when we practice architecture we commit to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of our communities. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and too many other Black Americans have exposed the systemic racism that is all too present underneath the surface of these communities. We are awakening to a new reality; one that has always been there for people of color in America, but is now under a spotlight like never before. We pledge to take action and proactively listen, learn, and seek out ways to work together to not only improve our world, but to also better ourselves, so that we can contribute to a more equitable society for every person. We will also periodically share steps we are taking so we can be held accountable for these intentions.
As a certified B Corporation, we are dedicated to using our business as a force for good. Since 2015, we have used the B Corp framework to guide meaningful conversations about social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and have implemented specific strategies along the way including inclusive hiring practices and pay equity. Yet recent events have focused these efforts towards self-reflection as we consider how we can better educate ourselves, take action, and, most importantly, listen so we can better relate to, and design for, racially diverse communities.
We acknowledge the fact that our traditionally white male-dominated profession has contributed to systemic racism in this country’s history, part of a society which reflects its values in the built environment. Change can and should happen as these values evolve. We are hopeful as we seek to understand on a deeper level. The more we learn, the more we can affect change in this dynamic time we are in. The more we understand, the better we can do our job to design spaces for a changing culture.