Important Work Ahead

Date Posted: 06.09.2020

To Our Team:

The heartbreaking murder of George Floyd is just the latest vivid reminder of four hundred years of injustice and harm in the country we call home, still being perpetuated today on our black, brown and indigenous communities. No person should be subjected to this kind of violence and trauma, and the systemic racism that pervades our society and institutions. This needs to end—now.

We fully support each of you that have chosen to peacefully protest and demand change. We also honor and respect those who have taken intentional action for change through other forms of advocacy. Every person and every action make a real difference.

As a currently majority-white led firm, we recognize that we have benefitted from the power and choice afforded us by centuries of structural racism. We are asking ourselves: How can we use that power and choice to combat racism? What are the operational and structural changes we need to make in our own organization? How can we serve as allies to BIPOC communities in the places where we live, where we work and where we practice? And how can we best use our skills as designers and integrated thinkers for healing and empowerment?

These are not new questions for us, but we commit to dig deeper and to develop further concrete anti-racist actions as a firm that specifically address the diversity of our team, the impact of our integrated design work, ongoing education and training, and strategic support of our community partners. We will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but we commit to welcoming the discomfort as we uncover our own blind spots and opportunities for growth. We pledge to be transparent about our progress.

Thank you for the work that so many of you are already doing in this area, and for the ideas and initiatives you have shared with us about what more the firm could be doing. Keep it coming. This kind of open dialogue is crucial if we are to evolve as a practice and as a community. Please reach out directly to any of us to share your ideas, your thoughts or concerns. The Justice/ Equity/ Diversity/ Inclusion (JEDI) working group is developing a list of 2020 priority actions to recommend to the Board for immediate adoption, as well as longer term goals for continued development. While we move forward with this process, we will also continue the advancement of current JEDI initiatives.

To support ongoing political advocacy and sustained change, all 23 Mithun partners have committed contributions to Black Lives Matter and voting rights organizations in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. And finally, in recognition of the significance of this moment in history, we are designating this year’s Juneteenth holiday as a firm-wide day off to celebrate with our families and communities the formal end of slavery 155 years ago.

With appreciation and respect for each of you, and the important work ahead.

– Dave, Anne and Brendan