Newsletter | Jan/Feb 2021

Dialogue on Anti-racism
by Leslie Golden

Over 15 OWA+DP members participated in our Dialog on Anti-Racism Forum in December 2020. It was a substantive discussion and the following is a brief summary of our initial discussion. We look forward to a continuation of this important discussion and working to advance racial equality in our lives and workplace.

While as women, we all can relate to the professional, inequality 􏰀 none of us can truly know the daily indignities, micro aggression, and generational trauma that many black individuals and people of color face on a daily basis.

During the meeting, our members shared their personal experiences: either growing up in segregated or integrated neighborhoods and how this influenced our lives. Some shared their personal experiences and we discussed urban planning policies which promoted systematic racism negatively affected low- income black and brown communities.

Exclusionary Housing policies have always limited the economic wealth building expansion of black and brown families. Returning WW11 veterans were offered low-income loans and benefited from the largest expansion of the middle class in America. However, systematic racism and redlining policies made it hard for people of color to
Subsequent Urban redevelopment of the 1960 wiped out many thriving black communities, dividing many neighborhoods, destroying their social structure and ruined whatever home value they had accumulated. Then recent gentrification of low-income neighborhoods are out pricing rents and home affordability for long term members of a low-income community.

What can we do and how can we be an ally? We need to examine our actions, words and professional practices to root out racial inequality.
  1. Words matter. No effort is too small. We need to stop using the term “Master Bedroom” “Plantation Shutters” – These terms Romanize the South and the luxury afforded the master and evokes a past of slavery.
  2. See something say something: Place signs on your cars and houses.
    Speak out when you see someone being treated unfairly
  3. Support minority owned businesses. Develop a list of black-owned
    businesses and post on the OWA website.
  4. Offer free membership to black women and black owned businesses
  5. Hire individuals of color and minorities in your office structure at all
  6. Listen more: Allow space to have the minority voices heard and
    acknowledged as a vital design member.
  7. Vote minorities into office.
  8. Donate to Black schools, organizations and provide scholarships to women
    of color.
  9. Support Reparations efforts
  10. Recognize that when any population falls below 15-20% representation in a
    group, they may be experiencing tokenism. Make efforts to deliberately be inclusive with your actions.

We won’t always get it right but let’s keep trying.

The following is a short list of articles and interviews that illuminate the state of race in our community of 2021. If you have any more please send it to Leslie Golden at I will be posting the names on the OWA Forum.

Eddie Glaude, Princeton Univ. Professor. It's powerful and really articulates the state of our country... easy-this-is-us-65354309615

We are preparing a list of black owned businesses. While we are NOT making recommendations, we feel sharing a list of black businesses that we know will help promote these businesses. If anyone has any other black owned businesses
to share please send them to Leslie Golden at be posting the names and contact information on the OWA Forum.

Ivory Jackson - Plumber 510-467-5519
Lamonte Black - Electrician License #1054911 Blacks Electric 510-239-6307

attendees at Dialog on Anti Racism Forum