You'll learn about:
Effective strategies to increase diversity in planning and how these efforts help planners promote and advance social equity
The efforts undertaken by the APA to increase diversity, and the strengths and weakness of various outreach strategies
The perceptions, viewpoints, and life experiences of students and professional planners of color in urban planning programs and the workplace
The benefits of embracing diversity in workplace and in academia
Identifying whether planning programs are preparing planners to deal with diversity issues once they become practitioners
Strategies to promote diversity in urban planning programs and the workplace
As communities become increasingly diverse, practitioners, particularly in the public sector, are faced with not only rectifying the effects of past social injustice and mitigating systemic racism and sexism, but also addressing new needs to ensure even the most marginalized citizens have a high quality of life. More representation and agency of marginalized groups is central to this; however, it largely goes unnoticed that planning academia and practice have struggled to retain diversity and promote cultural competency among planners. Across the nation, there are more institutional debates regarding how best to support workforce diversity, urban planning academic curricula, and within our student and faculty bodies. However, there has been limited research that examines how practitioners, students, and faculty perceive or experience diversity within the urban planning field. A panel of researchers, current and pass leaders of the APA will discusses effective approaches to increase diversity in planning, at practitioner level, the academic and student level, and within APA. A panel presentation will include APA leaders who will discuss the effectiveness of APA diversity efforts since the inception of the Diversity Committee and coordinators of two recent diversity studies will explore perceptions and personal experiences of diversity within planning programs and in the workplace, share tangible strategies to better foster diversity, followed by small group discussions to share experiences and new ideas about stategies to effectively increase diversity in planning.
, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Confirmed SpeakerGiovania Tiarachristie, or "G," is a Neighborhood Planner at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), working with communities to ensure that housing is coordinated with necessary infrastructure and services to support diverse, livable, and more equitable neighborhoods. She also serves as Co-Chair of the American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter's Diversity Committee, working to promote diversity and inclusivity in the planning profession to further enhance more equitable planning processes and outcomes, particularly for low-income communities of color. Before joining the Neighborhood Planning Team at HPD, "G" worked as a project manager in Affordable Housing Development at the Fifth Avenue Committee, a community development corporation dedicated to social and economic justice in South Brooklyn. She has also served as a fellow working on equitable community planning and urban policies related to social and environmental equity at the Pratt Center for Community Development and at the New York City Council. She completed her Masters in City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute and conducted her thesis on overcoming barriers to recruitment and retention of people of color in the planning profession. She is also a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.
Confirmed SpeakerFleming is a professional transportation planner with 18 years of planning experience. He has a wealth of knowledge in transit system planning, transit oriented development, thoroughfare system planning, comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian planning, capital improvement planning, NEPA documentation, traffic impact study analysis, and travel demand management. Fleming is currently employed as a Community Planner with the Federal Highway Administration. He holds a B.A. in Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from Morgan State University. Fleming is active member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association. He currently serves on the executive board of the Planning and the Black Community Division of APA.
Confirmed SpeakerMitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with over 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, place making and implementation strategies. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets. Prior to returning to his native New York City as Parks Commissioner, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. His career has included roles as a policy and planning director for Manhattan Borough President's Northern Office, a principal of a New York City-based planning firm, a town manager in New Jersey, and deputy planning director in Washington, DC. Commissioner Silver lectures extensively throughout the United States and abroad on a variety of planning topics. He is a contributing author and editor of International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) latest edition of “Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice,” which is a resource for local governments engaged in planning. Known by his colleagues as a passionate communicator, creative thinker, problem-solver and visionary leader, Mitchell Silver has been at the center of many cutting edge trends, innovative solutions and visionary plans, including Harlem on the River and Vision for Jamaica Center in New York City and the revitalization of neighborhoods in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, and Raleigh. As president of APA, he led an international effort to elevate the value and rebirth of planning in the 21st century. In 2012, the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment today. In 2013, UBM Future Cities named Mitchell Silver as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world and the Royal Town Planning Institute made him an honorary lifetime member. In 2014, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association. In 2015, he was named a honorary fellow of the Planning Institute of Austrailia and in 2016 he was inducted as a fellow into the Academy of Social Sciences. When Mayor Bill de Blasio named Mitchell Silver as New York City's Parks Commissioner, he called him “a visionary.” The Mayor went on to say: “He has a passion for fairness and equality, and he brings it to the work of government, and understands that we have to ensure that parks and open spaces are available in every community, and are well-maintained in every community in this city.” As planning director in Raleigh, he led the comprehensive plan update process and a rewriting of the development code to create a vibrant 21st century city. Mr. Silver served in Raleigh from 2005 until taking his job at Parks. He was an outspoken advocate for Raleigh and helped transform it into a world-class city with great streets, great places and great neighborhoods. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian (U.K.), Philadelphia Inquirer, Huffington Post, Associated Press, Atlantic Cities, the Urban Times, Planning Magazine, the News & Observer, the Charlotte Observer, the Triangle Business Journal , Crain’s Business Journal, BBC World News and National Public Radio (NPR). Commissioner Silver has taught graduate planning courses at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Pratt Institute and North Carolina State University. He is the Dunlop Lecturer in Housing and Urbanization at Harvard University. Mitchell Silver received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a licensed Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey.