This residential security map of Atlanta, 1938, is an example of redlining.

We thank the many voices, including members and leaders, that paved the way for this organizational transformation and fostered the roots of meaningful change.

Planning and Equity

In the United States, planning began to emerge as a standardized profession and practice in the early 1900s. The American planning history timeline shows the evolution of planning in the United States, and how the practice has both influenced and responded to social changes in the American society. Our timeline is evolving; we are actively accepting recommendations of significant events that address a legacy of inequitable planning practices or have sought to incorporate principals of diversity, equity and inclusion into planning.

Visit the Timeline

Racism and Planning

2020 marked a new chapter in the pursuit of equity in our country. Grave injustices were highlighted in America as our country grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Civil unrest in our cities was about much more than a demonstration against excessive force and discriminatory law enforcement practices towards Black Americans; it brought forth a movement of social reflection and community discourse.

This reflection must acknowledge the historical trauma of racism and discrimination inflicted on people of color, wrought by the planning profession itself, which led to structural disadvantages in housing, transportation, education and employment that last to this day.

APA recognizes this reality and is working to center equity in all planning processes in keeping with our mission of creating great communities for all. From our landmark Planning for Equity Policy Guide, to the ethical principles that undergird the professional practice of planning articulated in the AICP Code of Ethics, to the new online public engagement toolkit and Social Equity Knowledgebase, we're working to help planners and others recognize and eradicate the bad policy decisions of the past.

Together we can take an active role in rebuilding and transforming communities to create a society that ensures safety, health and prosperity for all its inhabitants. APA will continue to develop and deliver tools, techniques, support and encouragement to planners tirelessly combating all forms of racism and inequity. Learn more about how planners do this work! The Voices of Equity in Planning video series features planners who have been centering equity in their work to correct racial injustice, mitigate disparity, and improve the quality of life for marginalized people in all communities.

A Guiding Compass: APA's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy

APA's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy is a guiding tool that sets forth an organizational-wide plan for how we better promote these understandings and practices — both inside and outside the planning community and profession. View the core areas that have helped strengthen our strategy.

Focused Priorities of APA's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee contributes to learning that advances an EDI-focused culture within APA and the profession and provides insights to APA elected and executive leadership to advance the approved strategy. The committee is comprised of members who represent our population-based divisions, policy task forces, or who have a specific expertise in EDI topics. As a result, the group plays a crucial role in sharing information about what is happening in and outside of APA.

EDI Committee Focused Charge

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Steering Committee Members

Silvia E. Vargas, FAICP | Chair
Elizabeth (Libby) Tyler, FAICP | Vice Chair
Gisla Augustin
Marcella Bondie Keenan, AICP
Michael Brown, AICP
Cade Hobbick, AICP
Edna Ledesma, PhD
Heather Nick, AICP
Perris Straughter, AICP
Susan A. Wood, FAICP

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee Members

Miguel Vazquez, AICP | Chair
Maya Amichai
Manraj Bhatia, AICP
Gabrielle Boyd
Andrea Brown, AICP
Tabitha Cook
Austyn Cromartie
Fleming El-Amin, AICP
Sandra Elias
Elizabeth Gossett
Karen Hamilton
Christie Holland
Syeda Hussain
Edson Ibañez
Maha Issa
Nichole Laird
Alison LeFlore, AICP
Yanmei Li, AICP
Ying Li
Jayme Lopko, AICP
Michael Madrid, AICP
Shaurya Sumersingh Mall, AICP Candidate
Doug McDonald, AICP
Hamza Medaoukhi
Raquel Menanno
Radhika Mohan, AICP
Elizabeth Moore
Anita Morson-Matra
Suriya Narayanan
Cassandra O'Hearn
Corrie Parrish
Hilary Perkins, AICP
Shubha Punase, AICP
Breanne Rothstein, AICP
David Salazar, FAICP
Sunday Sanchez
Shiva Shrestha, AICP
Sheri Smith, AICP
Austin Stenberg
Elizabeth Tart, AICP
Andrew Toth, AICP
Tian Xu
Don Zeigler, AICP


Committee members are empowered to serve as ambassadors of the EDI strategy, focusing on delivering the following activities: