Dear Members, Don’t Give Up!

Okay, I’m a little annoyed and trying not to be “judgy.” Is there actually a physical problem with wearing a mask for another 6 weeks? Why is this so hard? But then I read the sage words of the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron who talks about Compassionate Action and she says, “How do we work with our actions, our speech and our minds in a way that opens up the space rather than closes it down? How do we create a space where we can find out how to become more a part of this world we are living in and less separate and isolated and afraid?” I love the Buddhist sense of “space” and that the answer is the question. We are the problem and we are the solution.

I took a vacation last week and visited a lakeside where people without masks packed tightly together were laughing, happily pretending there was no such thing as COVID-19 – perhaps taking a vacation from reality. I understand this desire to go back to “before” and I could not condemn for this dream.  However, I wish we were united in beating down the pandemic, wearing masks and keeping a distance.  I don’t want to give up in exchange for some fleeting moments.

In our profession, the AIA, NCARB and CAB’s fundamental principles are to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and this is dependent on having licensed, continually educated architects. It’s not just about technical education but like Black Lives Matter, Climate Action and yes, wearing face masks, it’s relevant and current and where we need to be. This is our charge and our responsibility to be up to date with new terms, and right actions. We can look at the world in the shoes of others and soften up long enough to get another view. This is what Pema Chodron suggests.

When I drove back home from my getaway, I saw people on the sidewalks – all with masks. Hooray, Petaluma has not given up! Later, there was a boisterous Black Lives Matter car parade through town with horns, sirens and loud speakers. Don’t give up on Social Justice – this injustice has been around longer than Climate Change. Don’t give up on Climate Action – it’s been around a lot longer than COVID.  We are the problem and we are the solution.  And now this:

Heads Up: ”Hot off the press – Climate Action Update” is the next Lunch + Learn on Wednesday 8/5/20. Panelist Sharon Revfem, FAIA will share the newest work on Climate Change and new requirements for licensure; panelist Pete Gang, Activist Architect will discuss the global and local actions impacting our communities. Sure to be a compelling and useful talk with lots of easy access resources. Join us and get your CE units!

Other good things: Thanks to good work of Carissa Green, the calendar and zooming events are flowing. We are on track with so many new resources and well organized. Sean Taber led the second Inclusivity Forum last week and helped form the new JEDI committee (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity). New forums on Women in Architecture are in the works. Night School is coming! Two evenings in August we will be focusing on marketing and outreach for small firms so check the calendar. And, last but not least, the AIARE Design Awards Call for Entries is open. Who do you know that should submit? Send them our way or share the links in the newsletter.

Friends, we need you, your support and your input. If there is a concern or an idea please get it directly to Carissa who will pass on to the board for discussion. We want to know how you are doing as a business and to help connect you with resources which are plentiful.

Keep doing good work and don’t give up!

Mary Dooley