SESSION 15: Keynote: Making Home: Race, Nature and Stories of Future Belonging

APA New Jersey Chapter


Tuesday, March 14, 2017
8:50 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. EDT

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This keynote session will address sustainability, creativity, risk and relationships as they relate to landscape and place. What are we trying to sustain? Ms. Finney understands “sustainability” as an opportunity to question/challenge our relationships to Nature and each other. What has been sustained thus far? Who has benefitted and who has lost? What have we as a community lost as a result? What is our intention as we move into the future? What are the ethics that contribute to the health, safety and welfare of the public that we nurture? Sustainability is not simply something to attain; it is also about practice – how we do what we do in our daily lives – and the impact that practice has on others and the earth. When thinking about “creativity” and design, we must revisit and revise the way we do things – the frameworks we use, the value we attach to particular kinds of knowledge, the forms of expression that have currency in decision-making arenas – in order to invite creativity and maximize the possibility for positive change. What does that creativity look like? Whose knowledge counts? Ms. Finney challenges us to consider new configurations, new ways of seeing people and communities, particularly when we use “race” as an identifying factor/organizing concept to better understand human-environment relationships. What are we willing to risk? What does transformation look like in practice? Finally, when thinking about relationships in planning and design, how does “engagement” become more than just a word? How do we nurture engagement as something malleable and flexible, not static and one-dimensional? What does it mean to really commit to engagement? How are we prepared to think differently? Who are we prepared to work with? What other areas of study/practice and creativity are we willing to engage? What competencies and capacities must we build? What are we willing to lose in order to gain? 


Carolyn Finney

Ms. Finney has extensive experience working on issues related to identity, representation, difference and place; race and natural resource management policy, participatory research and new frameworks of engagement and she consults and facilitates on these topics. Publications include the book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans ... Read More

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Christopher Brown,