National Newsletter - December 2017

National Newsletter - December 18, 2017

In 2017 ADPSR continues to work for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities. Please take a moment to reflect with us on the past year and gather yourself for the year ahead. As you read, please consider joining ADPSR to support our education and advocacy projects. Annual membership helps us raise public awareness of critical social and environmental issues: more important now than ever.

Taking Action in 2017 and Beyond

As 2017 draws to a close, we at ADPSR are reflecting on a year of crises that have challenged all of us as design professionals, citizens and community members. The need to resist injustice and stand up for human rights and the wellbeing of our planet is urgent. Each of us is constantly making decisions about when and how to best contribute to the cause, whether simply as neighbors and citizens, or as design professionals offering specific skills and resources. Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility acknowledges and lifts up all of the work that our community members are doing each day, in big and small ways, to support each other and our communities.  

Over the past year, ADPSR focused on resisting the Border Wall, and continued our human rights campaign concerning incarceration, torture and execution. We initiated a campaign around the hashtag #WeWontBuildYourWall, and submitted your designs in protest and mockery of the border wall idea to the Department of Homeland Security. In the process, we joined long-term coalitions with other organizations that are actively resisting the construction of the Border Wall. We have continued to hold the American Institute of Architects accountable for clarifying their Human Rights standards to prohibit the design of spaces for torture and execution. We led   to raise awareness and develop new strategies to push this essential human rights measure towards adoption.

In 2017, you might have called your officials to advocate for net neutrality and the continued funding of public education. You might have quietly advocated behind the scenes for yourself and your colleagues by suggesting or approving upgrades to your workplace's health insurance or sick leave. Maybe you shared a #metoo story that addressed attrition of diversity in architecture, design, and planning - or stood in solidarity with people experiencing discrimination and harassment in professional environments. You may have struggled to make rent or mortgage payments but negotiated with your own lender or landlord, or helped someone figure out how to do so. Perhaps you moved back in with your parents, invited a family member or roommate to move in with you, or  opened your home to climate and political refugees. You may have pressed one of our professional associations or a firm you work for to formally disavow the US-Mexico Border Wall , or simply discussed it with someone to help them understand it as a threat to communities and human rights, rather than a measure for national security. Your workplace may have designed all-gender restrooms or provided them for your staff. You may have been stopped and questioned by police on your way to work, then left early to rest and heal from the trauma. You may have started taking public transit to work to save money while helping reducing climate change. Perhaps you attended marches, or encouraged your colleagues and loved ones to do so. You may have organized to protect the institution where you teach, work, or study from a visit by white supremacists. These everyday actions often go unseen and unrecognized, but they are immensely valuable. Our collective efforts tie directly back to architecture, design, and planning, because the work we do is so deeply tied to our relationships within our communities. What you did this year continues to be valuable and appreciated. Our community of architects, designers and planners salutes you, admires your courage, and stands with you to do more next year.  

Call for ADPSR Board Members: Treasurer and Secretary

ADPSR is looking for committed, passionate leaders in architecture, design, planning, and social justice to serve as volunteer board members. You must be willing and available to devote your time and energy to this dynamic and growing organization to help further our mission to work for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities. ADPSR programs aim to raise professional and public awareness of critical social and environmental issues, further responsive design and planning, and honor persons and organizations whose work exemplifies social responsibility.  We are seeking a Treasurer with experience in accounting and budgeting for a nonprofit or small business. We are also seeking a Secretary to attend and document all meetings and manage our events calendar. Board meetings are held monthly by conference call, with an annual longer videoconference board retreat. 

If you are interested in either position, or in supporting the work of the ADPSR board in general, please email us with your interest and resume/CV at


ADPSR has a three-fold mission: peace and social justice; environmental protection and ecological building; and the development of healthy communities. ADPSR members and volunteer board members pursue this mission through advocacy -- most notably, our human rights campaign seeking to end the design of execution chambers and spaces for solitary confinement -- and public education -- and public education through events and conferences. Please consider joining ADPSR or making a year-end donation to support our work. 

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