We are witnessing an awakening in our community. The ongoing and brutal violence committed against the Black community, coupled with the disparate effect the Corona virus pandemic has inflicted upon Black, minority and impoverished communities, has served as a stark reminder that systemic and institutional racism continues to perpetuate racial, social, and economic inequality for people of color in our society.
To our members who are suffering, we are listening, and we hear you with heavy hearts. We are committed to confront these problems with more than platitudes of thoughts and prayers. For everyone, we invite you to join us now to do our part in addressing racial inequities throughout our region and our industry. There are no easy answers, but the ongoing disparities illustrate that our past approaches are not working and there is much more to be done.
ULI Arizona’s commitment to you and the community is to take actions that are deliberate and support positive change:
Commit to Self-Examination: First, and foremost, we commit to listening. We want to hear your ideas, your frustrations, your visions for what can result from this movement. It may be uncomfortable, and it will be hard, but we are resolved to listen. Really listen. As a starting point, we will require all District Council leaders to attend unconscious bias / diversity & inclusion / racial equity training. This will be expanded to training for our members and their firms that would like to embrace self-examination with us.
Structural Change: Appoint a senior leader to the ULI Arizona Management Committee and Advisory Board to lead a team responsible for racial equity, diversity and inclusion in all our work. Expand the racial diversity of members by understanding needs and creating a welcome and inclusive organization that is more representative of our community. Expand the current Advisory Board to reflect a more inclusive roster. This has been an ongoing effort, and will continue with added urgency.
Create Actions to Achieve Systemic Change: Expand the training and conversations on racial equity through community and member conversations. Strengthen outreach to communities of color, showcase community initiatives that incorporate and encourage inclusivity and strive to reduce barriers of entry to the industry. We have and will continue to expand our outreach through partnerships with educational programs like UrbanPlan and ASU’s MRED, and community outreach programs such as ULI2D and AzTAP.
Educate Members and Friends: Through programming and ongoing dialogue, shine a light on and acknowledge past and current land development and infrastructure policies and practices that have resulted in disparate economic opportunities and social inequities.
We recognize the necessity to embrace all marginalized groups in these efforts, including our Indigenous and Hispanic communities. It is critical that our membership, leadership, and industry be representative of all Arizonans. In keeping with ULI’s mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide, it is imperative that we create a better future that enables everyone to live-out the promise of being a part of this vision.
With ULI Arizona’s unique ability to convene industry and community thought-leaders around sharing best practices and developing strategies to guide us through times of uncertainty and change, we look forward to coming together, whether in-person or virtually, to have these conversations, learn from each other and hear from new voices, and be a part of the solutions that deliver meaningful change. We welcome your feedback (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Please join us in creating an inclusive organization and community.