By Grey Lee, Executive Director

I hope you are all having a good long weekend, and taking some time today to reflect on the legacy of Dr. King. And what a right and rich legacy!

Over the years, I have read and listened to several of his speeches. I was brought to tears when I visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis – hearing his resounding voice while standing in the hotel where he as assassinated. It was deep breath powerful. What an amazing role model and champion for positive change in our society.

It is sad that his efforts are now so far in the past, and while much has changed, so much has not improved.

Yet one of his recurring themes was persistence, to keep moving forward.

Our work for net positive outcomes for our communities through the transformation of the built environment is fundamentally patient. The pace of real estate plods along. Projects take years to come to fruition. Planning looks at decades. Codes, fundamental technologies, methodologies of project delivery, the duration of leadership in firms: all take years to shift. The movement of practices for buildings to become better requires the long view.

Yet MLK's spirit was also one of urgency. He said “the time is always right to do what is right.” We feel this urgency as practitioners. Even in a long-term oriented industry we want to support the best and right moves now. We want to execute on innovation – to save money, to reduce a building's impact, to be a more efficient contributor to the excellence of our final products.

Our urgency is not just to get ahead in the industry. Our community of practitioners is motivated by a basic concern for a sustainable and just world. We come together through this organization because it is inter-disciplinary and helps us see the way systems connect holistically.

Every day that passes is an opportunity to address the troubles in the world. Many of us are active on many fronts. Many of us are focused on our families, our careers, and our station in life. Working toward better buildings is an awesome way to connect our moral universe with the practicalities of making a living.

Together, working with our mission, we are advancing policies and market-based solutions to address the wrongs we see in the world.

Our building rating systems and performance-attainment challenges offer us ways to engage with our mission. Our techniques provide the small steps we can take today, with an eye on long-term achievement.

Together, as a community, we are growing the ranks of capacity to change the real estate industry. 

It is clear that our built environment affects social and ecological outcomes. Thank you for holding on to the complexity, the multi-stage reality, and the hard work it takes.

Thank you for your work to struggle for what is right, and thank you for being with me on this journey. I, and our staff, are here to help you in any way we can.

Let us continue our work, bending the arc toward justice, for all,


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