On December 4, 2020, the Illinois and Wisconsin Chapters of the APA hosted a candid conversation about how our profession and organization can help to change many of the harmful effects of structural racism, disinvestment, and inequity that have historically been created and/or perpetuated by the planning profession.
Guests included Angela Brooks, AICP, currently the Director at Large with the American Planning Association (APA) Board of Directors and Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez a long standing member of the APA Los Angeles Section. The conversation was moderated by APA-IL DEI Officer Nina Idemudia, AICP. Thank you to all speakers!
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This panel discussion was happening one of the evenings during the Upholding Equity in Planning, a Virtual Workshop for Advancing Urban Planning Principles on December 3-5, 2020.
Angela Brooks, AICP is a real estate developer for the Chicago Housing Authority. Brooks is a native of Seattle and a graduate of Jackson State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, and the University of New Orleans, where she received a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. An active member of APA since graduate school, Brooks has held numerous leadership positions including past chair of the Housing and Community Development Division, vice president of programs for the Planning and the Black Community Division, chair of the Diversity Task Force, and co-chair of the Housing Policy Guide. She has also served on the City of Seattle Planning Commission and Martin Luther King County Boundary Review Board
Originally from Ensenada, Mexico, Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez currently works as an advance planner for the Long Beach Department of Development Services, and is an alumni of the City’s Management Assistant fellowship program. Alejandro was previously a Data Analyst at the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (PERE/CSII) at USC. While at PERE/CSII, he coauthored publications on racial justice and demographic change, metropolitan dynamics, and immigration. Prior to joining PERE/CSII, Alejandro worked on housing justice and economic development with various governmental and nonprofit organizations in the LA region.
Nina Idemudia, AICP understands firsthand how the built environment shapes the lives of society’s most vulnerable populations. This fuels her passion for empowering citizens to be change agents through planning. Prior to moving to Chicago, Nina was a planner for the City of Los Angeles where she worked on Current and Long-Range Planning, plus Performance Management. She specializes in equitable community development, inclusive outreach, and organizational innovation for large metropolitan areas. Nina understands planning as a framework to instill lasting change in the world which is why she is dedicated to changing the field of planning, inside and out. Nina is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California. Nina has two awards from the American Planning Association, is Vanguard Fellow, and a New Leaders Council Fellow. She was also honored with a SHEro award by Los Angeles Council Member Curren D. Price, Jr. for her community leadership. Nina currently serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office for the Illinois Chapter of APA.