The tragic recent killing of George Floyd by the police whose job it was to protect him has once again exposed the ugly face of racism in our country. We have all witnessed the outpouring of emotions precipitated by yet another incidence of police brutality, and at Torti Gallas + Partners, we will not remain silent in the face of that injustice going forward.
Torti Gallas + Partners stands with those who promote and encourage unity in these times of great change. We stand with those who speak out against oppression. We stand with those who move to embrace change, allowing all to be treated equally without regard to color of skin, heritage or religious beliefs.
Though we at Torti Gallas + Partners are socially and physically isolated from one another at present, we are united against the racial discrimination that still permeates our communities. We find hope and inspiration in the diverse peaceful protests calling for reform and justice.
At Torti Gallas + Partners we are dedicated to building strong and resilient communities through design. And while we believe that beautiful and useful design is a necessary foundation for the civic infrastructure for human interaction, we also understand that it is insufficient in the task of solving underlying historic and systemic inequality. Through our work we realize that the environment of residents and patrons is not only limited to the physical realm; the lives of residents may also be adversely affected through gentrification, displacement, and cultural exclusion, even when the intent is to improve the physical environment. We further recognize that the disparate impacts of policing, personal biases, and other invisible barriers can often cause Black and minority residents to feel unwelcome or unsafe in their own communities.
As a Firm, we uphold the following beliefs:
As Urbanists, we advocate for a shared public realm that exists for the common good of all people.
As Planners, Urban Designers, and Architects, we are engaged in the thoughtful design of quality communities, buildings, sidewalks, streets, parks, and plazas in the service of improving the public realm.
As a Firm and as Individuals, we affirm and demand the rights of Black and minority residents to freely and peacefully inhabit and enjoy these communities, buildings and spaces, without the threat of harassment or discrimination.
Change must happen from within. We need to look in the mirror and acknowledge that, until we make the changes that are required in ourselves and in our Firm, there will be no substantive change in the outcome that is needed. To be Architects of a Better World we must listen to, understand and support each other, speak out against racism in any form and anywhere, and work towards change that will bring about a more equitable world. We are actively working on a set of action steps that will change our Firm for the better, creating a more inclusive environment, so anyone can feel they are empowered to be whoever they are without prejudice.