Taubman College to Welcome Reddy and Hood to Faculty

Lauren Hood and Madhavi Reddy are joining the Taubman College faculty as professors of practice in urban and regional planning. Hood and Reddy will start in fall 2023, pending a successful review and approval from the provost and the Board of Regents. 

Lauren Hood has worked at the intersection of racial justice and urban planning for over a decade. In 2021, she founded the Institute for AfroUrbanism (IAU), a research organization for strategic development focused on the ideation and enrichment of Black communities. Working at the intersection of African ancestry, Afrofuturism, and civic change, the IAU seeks to identify the foundational social, structural, and spiritual conditions necessary in order for Black folks to thrive. She earned her Master of Community Development and Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Detroit Mercy. 

“I bring a dual consciousness perspective to planning that could inspire new ways of thinking within the college,” said Hood. “As a Black person, woman, and native Detroiter, I understand what it feels like to be excluded and have my contributions dismissed or undervalued. As Chair of the City Planning Commission, recognized thought leader, and organization head, I have access to decision-makers, an abundance of opportunities to have my insights reflected on record, and have my own platform for radical exploration that is affecting real-time change. This insider/outsider identity makes me a more insightful practitioner and evokes multidisciplinary curiosity.”

Madhavi Reddy is a strategic and driven leader with experience in community development and planning as well as experience teaching at the University of Detroit Mercy in the Master of Community Development program. She is a community development practitioner and is the executive director of Community Development Advocates of Detroit. In this role, she supports neighborhoods to build robust social and civic infrastructure. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Collaborative International Development Studies from the University of Guelph and a Master’s of Community Development from the University of Detroit Mercy. 

“From the block to the national level, I have been witness to how community development and urban planning work happen at multiple scales,” said Reddy. “I have kept my own community development practice focused on the future and innovation. The changing nature of the world requires practitioners and students to be nimble and adaptable to what is coming next. Detroit is a city where the world comes to learn about how we do community development and urban planning. Pandemic-recovery planning and community development and movement building will shape the field for decades. This includes urban planning instruction and pedagogy as well as developing a pipeline of well-trained practitioners.”

“Because so many human activities and systems intersect in cities, urban planning integrates many kinds of knowledge and capacity,” said Dean Jonathan Massey. “Madhavi Reddy’s community development expertise will help students and faculty learn how to help institutions and stakeholders in and beyond Detroit build better futures. Lauren Hood’s experience leading reparative planning processes will help us build pathways to Black thriving. All of us at Taubman College and the University of Michigan are fortunate that these two brilliant practitioners are joining our faculty.”