In her book Caste, Isabel Wilkerson describes this structure as a matrix or – artificial intelligence – a pre-programmed code that’s always at work in the background advantaging White people and steering resources away from Blacks. She describes this invisible mainframe as “a puppet master unseen by those whose subconscious it directs, its instructions an intravenous drip to the mind, caste in the guise of normalcy, injustice looking just, atrocities looking unavoidable to keep the machinery humming, the matrix…a facsimile for life itself.
In far too many cases, zoning is being used to protect the narrow self-interest of a particular community without regard to the health, safety, and welfare of the community and the nation as a whole. 1971 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights excerpt (Keeanga-Yahmahtta Taylor, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry UnderminedContinue reading “Making the Ghetto Part 1 – Ghetto Code: Racial Zoning and Spatial Isolation in American Cities”
Originally published by the American Planning Association 11/14/2019 Certain concepts in the planning sphere can be hard to make tangible for residents, but property taxes is not one of them. Kelwin Harris knows this reality well. As the director of outreach and engagement for the Office of the Cook County Assessor — which is responsibleContinue reading “American Planning Association “People Behind the Plans” Podcast 11/14/2019″
Robbins’ origin story is one of a small village with a big history. It’s the oldest primarily African-American suburb in the Chicago region and one of only a few in the nation. Having recently celebrated its centennial, the village reflects the pioneering spirit of its early settlers who incorporated it in 1917 to be anContinue reading “Robbins, Illinois – A Story of Environmental Injustice and Resilience”
During my recent Marshall Memorial Fellowship with The German Marshall Fund of the United States, I had the opportunity to learn how European cities solve similar challenges we face in Chicago in the context of the transatlantic relationship and our shared national interests. The German Marshall Fund was founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, non-profitContinue reading “How European cities address racial equity, statues, and the politics of choosing to not forget - a memoir”
Below are a few helpful tips and best practices for public engagement. They can be used at the start of planning efforts with community groups, elected officials, or any initiative where influencing stakeholders is important. My hope is that these tips will be useful for planners in navigating the sometimes troubled waters of community outreachContinue reading “Public Engagement Tips for a New Era”
I recently read Natalie Moore’s The South Side and found some striking similarities in our upbringing and experiences. I grew up in Chicago in between St. Leo High School and St. Sabina in Auburn-Gresham: a virtually all-black neighborhood on the South side of Chicago – about three miles west of where Natalie Moore lived in Chatham. We actuallyContinue reading “My “South Side”: Reflections on Natalie Moore’s memoir and the nearby neighborhood I grew up in.”