Task Force on the 2020 Conference Focus Event
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Task Force on the 2020 Conference Focus Event: Racial Equity and Justice in Urban Planning Research and Education

Cities across the globe are increasingly racially and economically diverse. Such diversity has also given rise to contests over differences in norms, rights and inequalities among groups that demands planners to directly engage in issues of racial equity and justice. In an effort to highlight emerging research on racial equity and justice within urban planning research and education, ACSP is organizing a conference focus event on these important topics at our annual 2020 conference in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. This initiative is an opportunity for ACSP and non-ACSP scholars to engage issues of racial equity and justice within the built environment and urban planning. Hence, the goal of this initiative is to expand the intellectual space at the conference on these topics. Such topics include relationships to race and intersectional ways in which racialized forms of disadvantage and marginalization impacts spatial income inequality, the reification of gendered spaces in cities, planning efforts within gentrifying neighborhoods, research on incorporating more diverse voices in our discipline, studies that speak to creating inclusive spaces for LGBTQI communities, highlighting Indigenous planning practices, and immigration. Other topics that relate to racial equity and justice are also welcomed.

Another important goal of this conference focus event is to bring scholarly voices into ACSP that do not currently attend the ACSP conference but whose expertise and passion for racial equity research would greatly benefit the conference. Interdisciplinary scholars from ethnic studies, gender studies, geography and other academic fields are encouraged to submit their work. A task force was formed by ACSP leadership to provide intellectual guidance in shaping the focus event. The roles of the task force members are 1) help further conceptualize the description, goals, etc. of the focus event; 2) help outreach and encourage scholars within and outside ACSP to participate in the conference. The task force is especially interested in bringing scholars outside of ACSP to participate in the conference.

Questions regarding the conference focus event, Advancing Equity and Racial Justice in Urban Planning Research, should be addressed to the task force co-chairs.

Task Force Members

  • Sheryl-Ann Simpson, Carleton University, sheryl-ann.simpson@carleton.ca (Co-chair)
  • Gerardo Sandoval, University of Oregon, gsando@uoregon.edu (Co-chair)
  • Lance Freeman, Columbia University, lf182@columbia.edu
  • Stacy Harwood, University of Utah, harwood@arch.utah.edu
  • Theodore Jojola, University of New Mexico, tjojola@unm.edu
  • Nabil Kamel, Western Washington University, nabil.kamel@wwu.edu
  • Willow Lung-Amam, University of Maryland, lungamam@umd.edu
  • Faranak Miraftab, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, faranak@illinois.edu
  • Jane Rongerude, Iowa State University, jrong@iastate.edu
  • Karen Umemoto, University of California, Los Angeles, kumemoto@ucla.edu
  • Clara Irazabal-Zuritac, University of Missouri-Kansas City, irazabalzuritac@umkc.edu


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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