AIA|LA Board of Directors Statement on the Invasion of Ukraine
An architect creates shelter, and believes in building a better world for humanity. Willful destruction of cities and human lives is the antithesis of this commitment. We condemn President Putin’s invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
We have heard from members asking what actions the AIA|LA is taking or recommending to help support peace efforts, and to alleviate Ukrainians’ suffering and the refugee crisis. Here are some answers.
One: AIA|LA, as a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), asks its parent organization to open a dialogue with the Department of Homeland Security so that the AIA and/or the AIA|LA may develop a program for firms to hire Ukrainian architects fleeing the invasion.
When it is safe to return home, the AIA|LA will seek ways to work with agencies and support the re-building of Ukraine.
AIA|LA will extend its support to the National Union of Architects of Ukraine. The Chapter will also connect with the Architects Council of Europe to see if and how the AIA|LA may provide assistance or augment programs they have in place.
Two: AIA|LA condemns the bombardment of Ukraine’s hospitals, schools, homes and its rich cultural and architectural heritage.
Three: in order to create some relief, now, you may wish to contribute to:
+ Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders
With Ukrainian hospitals being shelled, Medecins Sans Frontieres is running mobile clinics in Ukraine itself, shipping medical supplies to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, conducting activities in Poland that support refugees from the war, and more.
+ The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
UNHCR is working with authorities, UN agencies, displaced community groups and partners to provide desperately needed humanitarian assistance. The group is on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries to protect and assist people forced to flee.
Find out more, and/or donate, here.
Four: Participate in public discourse. You or your firm can use your platforms to speak out in support of the people of Ukraine. Far from being a soft measure, this keeps the issue in the public eye, something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asks for.
The sale of Russia’s fossil fuels is funding this war. Longterm, use your professional expertise and leadership to support clean and renewable energy sources in buildings and transportation, globally.
Finally, and essentially: in making this statement, AIA|LA recognizes the atrocities and crimes against humanity, both currently and in the recent past, perpetrated against many other peoples and nations, including Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders and The UN Refugee Agency are active in these regions and beyond.
AIA|LA recognizes the architecture profession’s ethical and moral obligation to protect life and assure public safety, and conversely to identify and condemn any intentional threat to life and safety, while offering the support to the victims that our community is able to provide.