APBP Stands in Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter

APBP stands in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. We are outraged, dismayed, and grief-stricken by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and Ahmaud Arbery as the latest people killed by police. As an organization of pedestrian and bicycle professionals, we know this injustice is occurring on our streets and that the built environment has been designed in ways that both reflect and signal racism. We have a moral imperative to take action to fight racism and center equity in our work.

We recognize explicitly that centuries of systemic and institutionalized racism have resulted in walking and bicycling being much more dangerous for people of color, particularly Black people. Deliberate decisions about the placement of highways and major roads disrupted Black neighborhoods and created barriers to freedom of movement.  In addition to documented disparities in transportation safety, access, mobility, and health burdens, Black people experience violence, intimidation, harassment and racial biases on our streets and in public spaces. The resulting damage to life, physical and mental health, economic opportunities, and general well-being is real, profound, multi-generational, and unacceptable.

APBP exists to support professionals in creating more walkable, bikeable places that support the free and safe movement of all bodies. We foster peer knowledge exchange, advancement of technical expertise, and the professional development of our members. We recognize that planners, engineers, and other professionals working in this space have participated, knowingly and unknowingly, in creating places that reinforce oppression and injustice in our communities. Reform is needed at all levels of the profession to repair the harm that has been caused, and to result in more just communities.

As important as it is to speak out, a statement is not enough. APBP, as an organization, commits to serving this cause with explicit plans, evaluation, and reporting on our work to:

  • create a learning space for productive discourse within our community
  • build capacity for centering justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion within our work
  • lift up Black voices in our webinars, conferences, committees, and leadership
  • evolve the association’s practices with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion through our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

As leaders within the pedestrian and bicycle profession, we call on our community to:

  • acknowledge the privilege that White professionals have in this field of work
  • educate ourselves on how to dismantle systems of oppression
  • engage in respectful dialogue within our community forum
  • listen and learn from lived experiences we may not share
  • foster and support opportunity for Black people in our workplaces, professional organizations, and other career spaces
  • practice community-led planning and establish processes of collaboration that build local capacity and amplify voices that have been silenced in the past
  • make a strong and public commitment to inclusive procurement policies, set and report on ambitious targets to intentionally hire, partner, and procure/purchase services and goods from Black-owned businesses.

We undertake this work with a sense of deep urgency and the will to sustain our efforts over the long road ahead. We know that there are people in our membership and the professions we represent that have engaged in working to dismantle anti-Black racism. Others are newer in their understanding and the learning process. We will all make mistakes as we develop and exercise the collective power in our profession to change the way we do our work and its outcomes. Like many professions we refer to “practicing” our disciplines--that means we keep trying, learning, and improving. We thank you for reading this statement and invite you to join us in a commitment to create strong, just communities. Together we can, and must, address the painful legacy of the past and create welcome spaces and opportunity for the future.

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