Podcast: People Behind the Plans

Tamika Butler on Antiracism, Equity, and Self-Care Through Solopreneurship

As a watershed year comes to a close, Tamika Butler, Esq., founder and principal of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, joins host Courtney Kashima on the podcast. The result is a stirring, uplifting, and funny conversation on the issues facing everyone who works to undo society’s inequities. Tamika’s practice focuses on the built environment, equity, antiracism, diversity and inclusion, organizational behavior, and change management. A transportation planner, lawyer, and nonprofit executive director in previous roles, she explains why she struck out on her own after the pandemic started. She and Courtney discuss the positives and negatives of working for yourself, as well as why it’s important for urban planning firms and other agencies to collaborate with each other.

“… I’ve always seen planning and transportation as part of an intersectional framework for how we care for folks as their whole selves, and now I get to build a client base that looks like that.”

—Tamika Butler, founder and principal of Tamika L. Butler Consulting

Both planners express their hopes for equity work going forward — that agencies and organizations understand that these endeavors cannot be done once and forgotten about. That engagement should be an ongoing priority rather than something done when the timing suits the organization. That those in positions of power recognize how easy it is to value people, and that firms become culturally specific, not just culturally competent. Tamika also shares her advice for planners looking to step into their power and put their antiracism ideals into practice.

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