This moment is one of great importance. It is a time of definitive choice and unification if we choose it to be.
OAC chooses it to be.
Black Lives Matter.
We unequivocally support the efforts to end systemic racism within our company and our communities. We will not tolerate racist and discriminatory behavior.
More than ever, we are committed to uncovering our blind spots about how people of color are treated differently in America and recognizing our individual and collective biases.
We have taken time to reflect and agreed that we must be better and hold ourselves accountable in uncovering and changing our behaviors and company practices. To start, we are actively elevating the voices within OAC that better understand the issues at large via our Inclusion Council, while respectfully engaging all employees for solutions – as a firm, and as citizens in our communities.
We know solutions come not from words but actions. Now must be a time of action. OAC has begun its first steps towards change, intending to be part of the solution that will end systemic oppression. These steps have started with the following:
- Using tactics and techniques to uncover hidden biases – both within our hiring practices, and our internal culture
- Encouraging open dialogue and providing a safe space to share and listen
- And, creating a work environment that values and respects our unique backgrounds and skillsets
We recognize we have a lot yet to learn, but we hope that every step we take as a firm towards ending this long-rooted injustice brings us to the next awareness for more change, and sustained solutions.
Being in the built industry is one of impact and influence. We get to have a direct effect on our communities by creating the buildings we live, work, and play in. Let it also be a way for us to have an immediate impact on systematic change for every building, every person, and every day forward.
Thank you for listening. We invite your voice to join ours.