NOMA President Kevin Holland featured in Interiors & Sources Magazine
A Q+A with Kevin Holland, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects
By Erika Templeton
Racism still exists. If anyone thought that was up for debate following Obama’s first presidential election—and indeed, plenty made the claim—they’ve surely lost room for argument in the teen years of the 21st Century.
The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray are as tragic as they are common to American history. This time, however, they have transformed into the watershed moments of a new generation’s civil rights movement. We have seen it unfold online through hashtags like #handsupdontshoot, #blacklivesmatter, and #icantbreathe, and on streets across the nation. With each new protest, more and more Americans are forced to question just how far we’ve come between Selma and Ferguson—or Baltimore 1968 and Baltimore 2015.
This is not simply an extension of the movement of the 1960s and 1970s, though both are rooted in long-standing issues like poverty, unemployment, disenfranchisement, and mass incarceration. Today’s conversation has broadened beyond overt racism to shine some much needed light on the issue of racialization. We saw this with particular clarity during the latest round of unrest in Baltimore in April, and the difference in dialogue is summarized succinctly by John A. Powell of U.C. Bekeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society: