Buro Happold, a global consulting and engineering services firm, hosted its 14th Collective Impact event, "Racial Equity Takeover," February 17, bringing together an esteemed virtual panel of designers, social entrepreneurs, and government agency leaders to shed light on the topic. “It is imperative that we have these conversations not only during Black History Month, but that our awareness grows and we commit to being actively anti-racist,” says Heidi Creighton (pictured left), Los Angeles-based associate principal at Buro Happold, who helped organize the event. "With every project that we take on and every decision we make, we must center equity above all else. Only then will we have a just built environment where everyone can thrive.”
Throughout the discussion, participants offered insights on amplifying marginalized communities and ensuring residents have a voice in shaping design decisions that impact their day-to-day lifestyles. Panelists also stressed the importance of taking actionable steps, beyond statements of support, when it comes to addressing racial equity—a topic they said carries a sense of urgency. Solutions for creating more inclusive communities included mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as toolkits for companies and workshops to address diversity and inclusive more broadly. While the group agreed there is much work to do, discussions like this one are a step in the right direction.
Since 2017, Collective Impact events have pushed forward discussions around building more sustainable and equitable communities in Los Angeles and beyond with input from nearly 200 thought leaders. Collective Impact partners for the February event include USGBC-LA, LARC, ULI-LA, AIA|LA, Ari Simon Coaching and Convening, Los Angeles Eco-Village, SoCal NOMA, AWA+D, City of Santa Monica, and LATTC. Presentations from previous events can be found here.
In honor of Black History Month, the Interior Design team is spotlighting the narratives, works, and craft traditions of Black architects, designers, and creatives. See our full coverage here.