Equity and Inclusion
El Merequetengue: A Celebration of Latin American Landscape Architects, ASLA 2022
Equity and Inclusion
¿ Donde esta mi gente?
BASE organized the first ever Latin American luncheon at the ASLA conference! We took this opportunity to come together and meet each other. During the luncheon we also had a presentation from Tierra Media Project and their LAF fellowship project about Making Space for Latine/x/a/o Voices in Search of New Definitions of Engagement with the Land.
Big thanks to our lunch sponsors: mmcite, Old Town Fiberglass, ASLA NCC JEDI
Featured Project: Gill Tract Community Farm
At BASE, we believe in an inclusive community approach to design - creating spaces that bring people together, inspire action, and satisfy a community’s practical needs in creative and efficient ways.
With the Gill Tract Farm Coalition (GTFC) in Albany, CA we have been working to create a robust community outreach program in response to a new student housing development that will be built by UC Berkeley on a parcel of the Gill Tract. The housing project will displace the Farm’s tractor barn, storage and multi-use space, and a new agricultural operations building has been offered by developers as replacement.
To ensure an inclusive community planning process for these future changes, we’ve developed interactive polling graphics and hosted a series of workshops - collaborating to create a conceptual design for the new agricultural building that best meets the Farm’s goals of community building, agricultural and environmental literacy, and equitable production and distribution of fresh produce. The Gill Tract is also an overwintering site for the Monarch butterfly, a species whose population has plummeted 99.9% since the 1980s. Advocacy and protection of this struggling pollinator species has become an integral part in our mission of support to the Gill Tract Farm Coalition as they plan for the future in the face of this encroaching development.
team. BASE Landscape Architecture
Gill Tract Farm Coalition (GTFC)
year completed. ongoing
The death of yet another Black American at the hands of the police has shaken the whole nation, and indeed the whole world. The historic and deeply entrenched systemic discrepancies in our society have come to the foreground of our consciousness and are no longer bearable. We have been made aware of this complex reality which has become intolerable and we are actively speaking out and taking steps to stop it. This reaches to the core of who we are as human beings in the 21st century. Police brutality against people of color is, of course, only one aspect of the problem; racism seeps through all threads of our culture and society. We all need to take another look at how we live and work.
We are committed to participate in making a cultural shift to become actively anti-racist in both our personal and professional lives.
In our profession, we have seen too few fellow students, too few instructors, too few colleagues in design fields, and even fewer clients of color. We believe that it is our responsibility to change this picture. We are not only deeply disturbed by the systemic inequalities and outraged by the killings, we are also very, very hopeful that real change has a chance this time around. It will not be overnight, but we are resolute to demand change and we are in for the long haul.
BASE is committed to the following:
We recognize that our network grants us access to influence. As a first step, we commit to an ongoing mentorship program with our friends at Seven Tepees Youth Program in Ohlone territory in San Francisco’s Mission District in order to make our network accessible to youth of diverse educational and racial backgrounds who are not often granted access to these channels of power.
We will continue educating landscape architecture students and young professionals about equity in public spaces and their importance for civic expression.
We will continue offering pro bono services to our local communities.
We will acknowledge the native land and people of every project we work on.
We will offer financial support to an organization doing work in racial/environmental justice. Every year we will decide as a team which organization will get these funds.
We will vote for those public office representatives who stand for tolerance, inclusion, and fairness.
We will continue the conversation in our studio, particularly in terms of identifying other concrete practices we can integrate into our work toward a racially just society.
Suggested, non-comprehensive reading around challenging systemic racism in our profession.
Anti-racism Design Resources compiled by Bz Zhang
Black Landscapes Matter by Kofi Boone, GroundUp Journal, Issue 06: OF PROCESS
Racism Derails Our Efforts to Save the Planet by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Washington Post, June 3, 2020