Taking Action Against Systemic Racism | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Taking Action Against Systemic Racism

On June 2, 2020, the RAIC released a statement on current events regarding systemic racism and protests regarding unjust actions or lack of action. Building on that initial comment we want to be clear that the RAIC stands in solidarity with Black people across the USA and Canada. We are filled with sadness and outraged about the deaths of Black people at the hands of law enforcement.

The RAIC acknowledges that Canada has a long history of colonialism, white supremacy and continued systemic racism which disproportionately affects Black communities across the country. We also acknowledge that in this history of colonialism and white supremacy, there is ongoing systemic oppression of Indigenous peoples in CanadaAs architects, we must look critically at our complacency and the perpetuation of white supremacy and racism.

As a profession, we must be committed to our values which include equality and diversity. The RAIC stands against racism and commits to working towards a strategy that ensures the RAIC is anti-racist and anti-oppressive. As a starting point, the RAIC will: 

  • Reaffirm our commitment to an inclusive and diverse workplace
  • Incorporate education for staff and volunteers on the history—and the continuation—of racism and discrimination in Canada
  • Ensure cultural competency knowledge is developed among staff
  • Develop and implement a clear process for responding to and resolving discrimination against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) in the architectural profession
  • Incorporate a race equity lens in the development and implementation of programs, policies, and services.

The RAIC will also continue this discussion and focus resources on an ongoing action plan to ensure our organization is anti-racist and anti-oppressive. 

We must and will do better and welcome your feedback on what you think the RAIC can further do in taking steps towards justice. We will not be silent.

The RAIC welcomes any and all feedback from our membership and the public through info@raic.org

Additional Resources

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of resources. If you know of other resources, please share them with us so that we may share them with the RAIC community.

How Do We Respond to Anti-Black Racism in Urbanist Practices and Conversations -Part 1 (Canadian Urban Institute)

How Do We Respond to Anti-Black Racism in Urbanist Practices and Conversations -Part 2 (Canadian Urban Institute)

Kulea Culture Society

African Descent Society and African Descent Festival

Black Architects and Interior Designers Association (BAIDA)

National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) 

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace (Canadian Chamber of Commerce)

Diversity and inclusion (OECD)

About the RAIC

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) is a not-for-profit, national organization that has represented architects and architecture for over 100 years, in existence since 1907. The RAIC is the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada, demonstrating how design enhances the quality of life, while addressing important issues of society through responsible architecture. The RAIC’s mission is to promote excellence in the built environment and to advocate for responsible architecture. The organization national office is based in Ottawa with a growing federated chapter model. Current chapters and networks are based in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.