Moving to Action: How Do We Respond to Anti-Black Racism in Urbanist Practices and Conversations?

June 2020

By: Tamika Butler
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Social Equity

This video and online training is part two of an ongoing series of conversations between five Black urbanists discussing their experience with anti-Black racism and other issues in the field of urbanism. Panelists bring to the forefront the direct ways mainstream urbanism plays a role in reproducing spatialized anti-Blackness. First, panelists critique the notion that urbanism is neutral by asserting that land use is inherently tied to colonization; in other words, the root of urbanist professions is displacement, and urbanists need to actively mitigate this. Next, the panelists discuss the importance of untold place-based narratives. Finally, they focus on meaningful community engagement and strategies they have applied in their own work; for example, urbanist work is not for those who cannot mediate conflict. 

Some of the key actions described in the video are:

  • Developing an individual learning agenda
  • Demonstrating humility and flexibility in urbanist work
  • Respecting and honoring different forms of knowledge
  • Making room for conflict in the community engagement process