- WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT OUR CULTURE, PROJECTS AND CLIENTS MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO SYSTEMIC RACISM.
- WE WILL HOLD OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE FOR ACTING TO DISMANTLE SYSTEMATIC RACISM.
- WE WILL MAKE CHANGES THAT PROMOTE JUSTICE AND EQUITY AT SMITHGROUP AND IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.
- WE WILL TAKE ACTIONS THAT HAVE AN IMPACT TODAY WHILE DEVELOPING STRATEGIES FOR A JUST AND EQUITABLE FUTURE.
SmithGroup is committing to these immediate actions:
We need to change our culture. This starts by looking at things through a different lens and including the right people in the process. Our new board committee for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is empowered to review all our policies, processes, and metrics for dismantling systems that perpetuate injustice. This committee will have a direct voice and impact on the actions of our board and the firm.
We will increase our support of organizations seeking justice and equity. We will increase our financial support and our staff’s time to work with and participate in educational, community and professional organizations that are seeking justice and equity in our communities and professions. We will solicit recommendations from staff and share with our clients, colleagues and allied organizations the importance of supporting these groups.
We do not work with facilities for mass incarceration. We are publicly sharing our previous commitment to reject any work in planning and designing jails, detention centers and prisons. We are critically looking at our current and past portfolio to identify projects and clients that perpetuate systemic racism and discrimination. We will be clear in defining the projects and clients that we will not work on and why.
We commit to instituting an intentional recruitment and promotion plan to effectively increase and sustain diverse representation with a focus on advancing BIPOC talent within our firm leadership. We will be transparent about how we plan to achieve diverse BIPOC representation in our hiring and promotion processes, including sharing all the data on our hiring and promotion statistics with our entire staff. We will continue to improve processes for attracting, hiring and retaining our BIPOC staff. We will define and share targets and goals for measuring our success in these activities.
We will invest in building the future talent pipeline and support underrepresented populations in our professions. We will expand our participation in programs with K-12 local schools and community organizations that engage youth in our work and our professions. We will increase the investment in our annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program. We will work with colleges and universities to improve access and mentorship opportunities for underrepresented BIPOC populations. We will expand our collaboration with HBCUs in our projects and support more efforts to teach, share research and bridge the academy-practice divide.
We do not have all the answers, but we are committed to finding them. We will act with expedience and greater purpose, while resisting hasty responses that are not sustainable. We commit to getting uncomfortable by asking critical questions and engaging diverse representation in these conversations to find solutions. Our Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee will help launch a firmwide listening process this summer. This feedback will allow our staff to share their concerns, hopes and fears while also soliciting ideas about what a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive future looks like today and tomorrow. We will use this process to continue to refine how we design a better future for all.