The role of architects in community life has been rendered largely irrelevant as the profession has historically been, and continues to be, an exclusive resource serving primarily wealthy patrons. Such exclusivity fosters and perpetuates great inequity in the built environment—inequities that more adversely affect communities of color. In 1968, activist Whitney Young sharply rebuked the profession by stating, “you are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions to the cause of civil rights…You are most distinguished by your thunderous silence and your complete irrelevance.” The belief is that strong and healthy communities, rich in diversity, make strong nations. As architects, we have the power to represent more than ourselves, and representation is essential to achieving equitable diversity.
This exhibition features projects by diverse design professionals, as well as quotes and video interviews that focus on their experiences in the architecture and design professions. The concept of this exhibit is “to see our faces, hear our voices, feel our impact within the colorful tapestry of our heritage.” SAY IT LOUD is the activation of a national movement of sharing, protecting, and celebrating the journey of the underrepresented to inspire the next generation.