Holiday Wishes from ADPSR
Holiday greetings from ADPSR! We hope you will have time to reflect with us on the past year and take a moment to look ahead to what we can accomplish in 2019. With your support (yes, you know what that link is for), we can continue to speak out for human rights in the design professions.
For ADPSR, our human rights campaign had an unprecedented success when the American Institute of Architects changed the Human Rights standard in their Code of Ethics to prohibit the "wanton disregard of the rights of others" including both "the health, safety and welfare of the individual and the public." This now clarifies what ADPSR has been demanding since 2013: that architects (in this case, specifically AIA member architects) not be allowed to design spaces that will cause human rights violations, especially execution chambers and spaces for prolonged solitary confinement. This change came not long after the PBS Newshour aired a segment covering ADPSR's campaign against solitary confinement and after ADPSR board members spoke at the AIA National Convention on Ethics and Practice and on Social Enterpreneurship. While it's taken 5 years of sustained activism from ADPSR's leaders and our members, looking back on 2018, this is a fantastic change and we salute AIA for raising their standards!
The success with the AIA Code of Ethics was only possible because of the intersection of our work with that of many others, in this case, most notably the #MeToo movement and Equity By Design - the group pushing for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion across the architectural profession. The recent Equity By Design conference featured ADPSR board members Shalini Agrawal, Shawn Hesse and Deanna van Buren, and also led to the inclusion of ADPSR in the exhibition Now What?! Advocacy Activism and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968 organized by Architexx - another organization working for gender equity in architecture. In 2018 ADPSR also began what we hope will grow into a larger collaboration with The Architecture Lobby, an organization devoted to equity in labor within the field of architecture, with our joint statement against the design of immigration detention centers.
While we celebrate the advances in architectural ethics and the flourishing of activism amongst design professionals, we also realize that this is in the context of increasing trauma within the United States and around the world across all the spheres that ADPSR is dedicated to. In the realm of peace, the United States, aided and abetted by many American and international corporations, continues to wage war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, and American leaders seem actively hostile to peaceful relations - the easy acceptance of Mohammed bin Salman's murder of Jamal Khashoggi is only the latest evidence of how little the current White House values human rights and human life. Socially responsible development continues to lag as income inequality grows, causing a nationwide housing crisis. And with regards to the environment, while the impacts of global warming grow ever more severe, the strangle-hold of the fossil fuel industries over the U.S. government continues to not only block progress on the national level but to drive emissions higher around the world. At year's end, we have 11 years and 10.5 months to get climate change under control - let's all continue to work (or get to work) to reduce energy use and CO2!
ADPSR has been in existence since 1981 and has consistently spoken up for a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. We have adapted our message and tactics over the years, and in 2018 we fully embraced the internet and social media. The ADPSR board of directors has adopted a new definition of membership to include anyone who joins our groups on Facebook or LinkedIn as members, replacing our previous annual-fee model that dates to the 1980s. This means that we have over 1,000 members! It also means that now is a good time to join us on Facebook or LinkedIn if you haven't already-especially if you are one of our long-time members who we've been paying member dues for years (and we hope you'll continue to support us in this online model).
ADPSR is a non-profit organization and we do depend on our members for financial support. Our newly increased pool of members means that we can accept donations of any size (there was a $35 minimum before), and we hope that you will agree that ADPSR's advocacy for human rights in the design professions is valuable and inspiring. Please donate to ADPSR in any amount -- $3, $5, $50, $100, or whatever suits you. With your support, we will continue to speak out for human rights in 2019.
Raphael Sperry, President & the ADPSR Board of Directors
Shalini Agrawal, Franziska Amacher, Dr. Sandra Hernandez Colon, Mary Ann Gallagher, Kelly Gregory, Ben Spencer, Shawn Hesse, Don Lever, Michael Sorkin, Deanna Van Buren, Daniel Whittet