POCIG Edward Blakely Award
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The Planners of Color Interest Group (POCIG), a group affiliated with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), is pleased to have established the Edward Blakely Award. This achievement award will be given to a worthy honoree who has supported the cause of social justice, particularly in urban planning or development, for communities of color.

This award is in honor of Edward Blakely, who has offered extraordinary service as both scholar and practitioner following examples from his family, including in particular his father Edward Blakely, his mother Josephine Carter Blakely, and all of his uncles and aunts and cousins who lived and worked for social justice in communities of color, particularly during the years of legally-enforced racial segregation.

Blakely, currently resident in Australia, was present for the announcement of the award’s establishment on October 13, 2011, at POCIG's annual meeting at the ACSP Annual Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also helped present the first award to Boston activist and author Mel King on November 2, 2012.

This award may go to planning or related academics or to professionals who have supported the cause of social justice for communities of color in their work. Such awardees will not be limited to residents of the U.S. or to faculty of ACSP member schools.

Winners will be introduced at the ACSP Annual Conference Faculty Awards Luncheon. Profiles and media announcements of winners and their accomplishments will follow the conference.



The deadline to nominate is June 1 using the form below.



The nominee should exemplify the following qualities:

  • Dedication to the cause of social justice, particularly for communities of color;
  • Creative or path-breaking approaches to pursuing such ends;
  • Outstanding service/accomplishment in urban planning or development.

In the spirit of Blakely’s service, nominees:

  • may come from either practitioner or academic backgrounds;
  • need not be associated with ACSP or POCIG; and
  • may be resident in any country of the world (the award is not monetary but some travel funds for the awardee are available).


Nomination Information

All of the following documentation must be included in ONE document file using the nomination form at the bottom of this page. A nominator (someone other than the person being nominated) should submit the following (PDF files preferred):

  • A nominator’s letter, which addresses the criteria listed above, and is a summary statement of the rationale for the nomination must be submitted. This letter should be no more than two pages, and include the full name, position, affiliation and contact information for the nominee.
  • A resume should be submitted or alternately, a link to a web-based resume may be included in the nominator's letter. 
  • Letters of support are required: at least two but no more than four additional letters of support for the nominee, with at least one letter from someone who is not employed by the same organization as the nominee.


Biography of Ed Blakely

Prof. Edward Blakely is Honorary Prof. of Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre, University of Sydney, Australia, and previously served for two years as Executive Director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administration for New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. One of the world's leading scholars and practitioners of urban policy, he has been Dean of the School of Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and Dean of the Robert J Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University in New York City. He has also held professorial appointments at the University of California Berkeley, the University of Southern California, and the University of Sydney. He is the author of five books and more than 100 scholarly articles as well as many essays and opinion pieces. His books include Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in US Cities; My Storm: Managing the Recovery of New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina; Fortress America; Planning Local Economic Development: Theory and Practice; and Rural Communities in Advanced Industrial Society. His extensive record of public service includes advising the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, state and federal governments in Australia and the United States, as well as governments in Korea, Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Vietnam. A Fulbright Scholar, Professor Blakely earned his BA at the University of California Riverside, his MA at University of California Berkeley, and a PhD at UCLA.



  • Clara Irazabal, Chair, University of Missouri-Kansas City, irazabalzuritac@umkc.edu
  • Mickey Lauria, Clemson University
  • Susmita Rishi, Kansas State University
  • Michael Lens, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jimmy Taitano Camacho, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Past Award Winners

  • 2019 Edwin Melendez, Hunter College, CIty University of New York
  • 2018 No Winner
  • 2016 Alvaro Huerta, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • 2014 Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California
  • 2012 Mel King, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/South End Technology Center (winner/acceptance speech); Verónica R. Soto, El Paso (Texas) Downtown Management District (honorable mention)


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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