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Planning in a "Post-Racial" Society (?): New Directions and Challenges

While some racial progress has been made, conditions suggests the post-racial tag is premature: violence, high unemployment, and low graduation rates particularly afflict people living in communities of color in cities across the country.

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About the Event

Planning in a "Post-Racial" Society (?): New Directions and Challenges from Taubman College on Vimeo.

The Urban and Regional Planning program at Taubman College is proud to host a symposium and special programming that will explore the role of the urban planner in a supposedly “post-racial” society. Join nationally recognized scholars and practitioners to discuss the contributions that urban planners of color have made to cities and to the field of planning; examine how planning is engaging critical debates about race, ethnicity, and poverty; and suggest what will be needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to serve the needs of the nation’s evolving demographics.

University of Michigan faculty and guest speakers will include:

  • Lisa Bates, Portland State University
  • Teresa Cordova, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Harley Etienne, University of Michigan
  • Malik Goodwin, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
  • Joseph Grengs, University of Michigan
  • Clara Irazabal, Columbia University
  • June Manning Thomas, University of Michigan
  • Catherine L. Ross, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Leonie Sandercock, University of British Columbia
  • Sigmund Shipp, Hunter College/CUNY
  • Conan Smith, Suburbs Alliance, Inc.
  • Betsy Sweet, Temple University
  • Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., University at Buffalo-SUNY
  • Karen Umemoto, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Schedule of Activities:

  • Thursday, October 31, optional Student Meet and Greet
  • Friday, November 1, Symposium
  • Friday, November 1, Film Screening
  • Friday, November 1, Post- Symposium Reception
  • Saturday, November 2, Experiencing the Michigan Difference

Agenda:

9:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.

  • Welcome: Monica Ponce de Leon – Dean, Taubman College
  • “Diversity and Difference at Michigan”
    Lester Monts – Senior Vice Provost, University of Michigan
  • “Diversity in The Planning Profession”
    Karen Umemoto – Chair, Diversity Committee, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning

Diversity and Difference at Michigan” Lester Monts – Senior Vice Provost, University of Michigan

“Diversity and Difference at Michigan” Lester Monts – Senior Vice Provost, University of Michigan from Taubman College on Vimeo.

Karen Umemoto – Chair, Diversity Committee, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning

Karen Umemoto – Chair, Diversity Committee, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning from Taubman College on Vimeo.

10:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.

Panel 1: Contributions of People of Color to Cities and Planning from Taubman College on Vimeo.

  • Panel 1: Contributions of People of Color to Cities and Planning
    Despite the often-negative images, rhetoric and scholarship that often characterize urban communities of color as chaotic or dangerous, these communities are in fact reflections of histories of survival and adaptation that benefited not only the people within them but also cities and metropolitan areas at large. North American cities and the urban life that fuels them would be far different without the presence of such communities, which have influenced music, food, sports, political leadership, and urban scholarship. Communities of color and their struggles for equality have profoundly affected the field of urban planning and its scholars, particularly in encouraging movement toward social equity and justice, and this has been true since the early twentieth century but most certainly since the 1960s.

    Panelists: William Goldsmith, Sigmund Shipp, Conan Smith, and Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.
    Moderator: June Manning Thomas

11:45 A.M. – 12:45 P.M

Leonie Sandercock “The Bourgeois Blues: from Leadbelly to Tall Paul. The Colonial Present” from Taubman College on Vimeo.

  • Keynote Address: Leonie Sandercock
    “The Bourgeois Blues: from Leadbelly to Tall Paul. The Colonial Present”

12:45 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.

  • Lunch

1:30 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Panel 2: The context of Planning in 2013: Are we “Post-racial”? from Taubman College on Vimeo.

  • Panel 2: The context of Planning in 2013: Are we “Post-racial”?
    Planning is a field of sub-disciplines and specialities that all seek to create order and enhance human settlements through increased economic activity, enhanced housing options, innovative transportation infrastructure, sustainable place-making, environmental stewardship and dynamic physical design. However, planning and the processes that drive it are all inherently political and often reflect our larger social and economic order. If inequities influence the planning process, these inequities will almost always influence planning outcomes. The challenges and questions presented to this panel are: 1) does planning operate in a post-racial society and 2) is that possible or desirable? While the current tenor of race relations in the U.S. might suggest an easy answer to these questions, a more nuanced and constructive discourse is possible.

    Panelists: Lisa Bates, Teresa Córdova, Catherine Ross, and Karen Umemoto
    Moderator: Harley Etienne

3:15 P.M. – 4:45 P.M.

Panel 3: The Changing Face of Planning from Taubman College on Vimeo.

  • Panel 3: The Changing Face of Planning
    With demographic projections predicting a majority-minority United States by the year 2043, the field of planning must consider the task of diversifying quickly enough to better address differences in society and to meet the needs of communities of color. The challenge is two-fold: preparing white planners to understand difference and economic inequality well enough to support the complex needs of diverse communities, and; secondly attracting a talented and diverse generation of students to the field of planning. This panel will consider the obstacles to meeting these challenges and the prospects for the field of planning moving forward.

    Panelists: Malik Goodwin, Clara Irazábal, and Betsy Sweet
    Moderator: Joe Grengs

4:45 P.M.

  • Concluding Remarks: Richard K. Norton – Urban Planning Program Chair

5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.

  • Break

6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

  • Film Screening and Q&A with Leonie Sandercock
    Finding Our Way
    A film by Giovanni Attili and Leonie Sandercock
    This is a story of a people dispossessed, deep historic wounds, and still unresolved conflict between Indigenous people, governments in Canada and industry. It’s a story of the struggles of two First Nations in the Carrier territory of north central British Columbia (Canada) for land and sovereignty, for healing and revitalization. The Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band) have been in conflict with the Village of Burns Lake over appropriated lands for almost a hundred years, a conflict that culminated in the municipality shutting off water and sewerage services to their Reservation in the year 2000, and the Band taking the Village to the Supreme Court of BC. The Cheslatta Carrier Nation were evicted from their homeland in 1952 by Alcan’s hydroelectric project, and are still struggling to keep their heads above water. This is 21st century Canada, and this is a story with a question mark. After almost a century of apartheid in this region, the film asks: Is there a way forward?

8:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.

  • MAP-PY Hour Reception
    Pendelton Room (2nd Floor)
    Michigan Union

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning