A letter to the ID community

Dean Denis Weil calls on ID community to commit to an antiracist agenda

Dear ID community,

George Floyd’s violent death in Minneapolis, following closely the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, demonstrates clearly the anguish and dangers Black Americans face due to structural racism. This same structural racism has led to the disproportionate death by COVID in our Black and brown communities.

I am calling on the ID community to come together and commit to an antiracist agenda in our teaching, our work, and our discussion. While this is needed more than ever in the US, it applies globally and hence has relevance to our entire ID community.

Courses by ID faculty members Laura Forlano, Jessica Jacobs, Chris Rudd, Carlos Teixeira, and others have given ID students the context, reflection, and tools to start imagining new, more equitable, and more cooperative infrastructures and futures. (Find Chris Rudd’s opening keynote from RSD8 this past fall, “Community-Empowered Systems Change,” here). As our students start their summer projects this week, I have asked them to please apply what they have learned to make real change a priority. 

I also encourage us all—faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends—to support each other in these difficult times. And I will be in touch with news about more ways to make that happen over the summer, including sharing some of the civic design approaches, frameworks, and methods that we have introduced at ID to our broader community over the summer.

Now is the time to act. As our founder, László Moholy-Nagy, wrote:

Be a pioneer on the vast and unbroken territories of our period, where every action could lead to creative solutions. If one doubts that an individual can ever achieve so much, it may be that it will not be individuals alone, but working communities who do."

Denis Weil (MDes 2001)
Dean, IIT Institute of Design