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.
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 El-Amin works as a Senior Community Planner with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). His areas of expertise include environmental justice and context sensitive solutions and design. In this role, Fleming provides support to MPOs and State DOTs on environmental justice, meaningful community engagement, context based project delivery, and collaborative decision making. Prior to joining FHWA Fleming worked as a project manager with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.
Confirmed SpeakerMitchell Silver is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks. Mitchell is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). Mitchell is an award-winning planner with over 30 years of experience. He is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell oversees management, planning and operations of 30,000 acres of parkland. As Parks Commissioner, Silver developed the Community Parks Initiative to build a more equitable parks system, Parks Without Borders to create a more seamless public realm and Anchor Parks program to make old parks new again. Prior to returning to his native New York City, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. In Raleigh, he led the comprehensive plan update process and a rewriting of the development code to create a vibrant 21st century city. In 2014 he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association and in 2017 he was made an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). In 2017, Commissioner Silver was elected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists.