Black History Month: A note from the Director on behalf of Waterloo Architecture

Public Statement

Dear all,

On this first day of February, I want to acknowledge Black History Month.

I would first like to thank Treaty Lands Global Stories for their continued advocacy to ensure greater support and representation of BIPOC students, architects and designers. I invite students, staff and faculty to continue to build the database of work by BIPOC architects and designers they have been gathering, and to refer to this Glossary of “terms to know” in struggles for equity and environmental justice that they have just launched.

We are grateful for the ongoing efforts of student groups to raise awareness around Black history in our school. Moving forward, the School will celebrate the legacy of Black people and architects in Canada and in our discipline. This is part of our work to continue to eliminate barriers to inclusivity and diversity in the School. The Racial Equity and Environmental Justice Task Force is wrapping up to present its recommendations and proposed plan for implementation, and the School is committed to establish a Racial Equity and Environmental Justice Standing Committee that will center its efforts in projects for racial equity, decolonization, sustainability and environmental justice.

This work is also one we take on as a discipline, and the Pan-Canadian lecture series , a collaboration between all Canadian Schools of Architecture, featured a number of important conversations to build awareness around equity and inclusion in our education, discipline and profession. It included a powerful event on Abolition, part of Waterloo Architecture’s What is Solidarity? Arriscraft Speaker Series, featuring Syrus Marcus Ware, Tiffany Lethabo King and Sara Zwede, an inspiring lecture by Mariam Kamara hosted by the University of British Columbia, a talk with Dark Matter University hosted by Carleton University, and a recent conversation with BAIDA, the Black Architects & Interior Designers Association, hosted by the University of Toronto.

The University of Waterloo is celebrating Black History Month, with special events as well as regular workshops that continue to be open to all –everyone is strongly encouraged to register for these with the links provided on the Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Office.  Additional events and resources can be found on the UW-BASE  – the Black Association for Student Expression website, and with WUSA’s Racial Advocacy for inclusion Solidarity and Equity, RAISE

The weekly digest today listed some of this week’s Black History Month events that are taking place in the University, community and beyond (links also included below), and we will continue to update you on other events this month. 

Please all join to celebrate Black History Month!