The R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) is a community of students, faculty, staff, guests, and visitors where everyone strives to practice a culture of inclusivity. In our college, our communities of expertise share a common aspiration to make the world a better place through the design and creation of built environments which are the focus and passion of our respective fields. We hope that our inclusive ambitions manifest first in our own school culture in which open dialogues are encouraged, varied design approaches are continually introduced, and diversity is valued.
The social impacts within our country emphasize how our multidisciplinary creative culture strives to embrace differences of opinion and values a variety of experiences and diverse backgrounds. These values should echo clearly throughout the culture of our school. We must remain committed to working hard so our values are clear and evident in all we do.
We will redefine who we are by remembering that inequities, disparity, and injustice exists in our everyday spaces. As a knowledge-based community, we have a responsibility to seek out empathetic understanding and demonstrate respect for all voices. As a community, we should lead by example; as learners, we should strive to embrace diversity. Our work must demonstrate our commitment to these values, starting with:
- Training: Our community will continue to provide access and exposure to programs that educate, foster self-awareness and growth, and provide concrete ways to engage in respectful and positive interactions while reducing discrimination and prejudice.
- Recruitment and retention: We will advocate for the review and renewal of processes that guarantee the access and the tools needed to succeed in our college, especially underrepresented groups.
- Classroom culture: We strive to deliver curriculum and create spaces of learning within our college that actively support expanding narratives and fostering inclusion.
- We will ensure diversity in our visiting scholars and lecturers.
- We will diversify our focused studies, such as field trips and focused studios, to include places and people that are currently underrepresented.
- We will readdress our curriculum to diversify the cannon that we present as representative of our disciplines.
At its core, CAP is committed to cultivating a culture of belonging, mutual respect, and collaborative practices where students, faculty, and staff have the freedom to be their authentic selves and where all are in a position to reach their highest potential. Our connectedness stems from our differences, and we are devoted to ensuring our CAP community can thrive by celebrating the visible and invisible qualities that make each person unique. These qualities include but are not limited to race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and nongender identity, ability, religion, national origin, and all other identities.
We are dedicated to staying continuously aware and actively engaged in fighting social, cultural, and racial injustices and systems of oppression. For some of us, this means having the courage to stand up and speak out. It means sharing opinions and lived experiences. For others, it means listening to understand—listening with patience and empathy and creating a space that is conducive to dialogue. It means continuing to learn and grow. For all of us, it requires us to ask tough questions, respect uncomfortable answers, and be open to different and new perspectives. Most importantly, it means recognizing and valuing each other’s contributions and the “intrinsic worth of all community members.”
The faculty, staff, and administrators of the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning pledge to uphold the goal to achieve and sustain an equitable, bias-free, and safe environment, which all educators and students should be able to expect rather than hope for. We believe all things are possible when we have a firm foundation of equity, belonging, and respect.