Symposium to explore urban planning in a ‘post-racial’ society


The Urban and Regional Planning program at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is hosting a symposium and workshops that will explore the role of the urban planner and planning in a “post-racial” society.

Students and nationally recognized scholars and practitioners from around the country will converge on U-M on Friday for “Planning in a ‘Post-Racial’ Society (?): New Directions and Challenges.” They will discuss the contributions that urban planners of color have made to cities and to the field of planning.

The event, which is free and open to the public, also will 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.

Featured speakers include: Monica Ponce de Leon, dean of the Taubman College; Lester Monts, U-M senior vice provost; Karen Umemoto, chair of the diversity committee of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; and Leonie Sandercock, professor of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia.

As the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 approaches, many have questioned whether the U.S. has entered a post-racial era. While some racial progress has been made, conditions suggest 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.

The event also will provide an excellent space for students to critically examine these matters and interact with faculty and invited guests.


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