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[Re] defining Equity, Equality, and Justice in Community Development – hones on the challenges and opportunities in creating communities that lift up people of all races, genders, and backgrounds onto an even field of opportunity. As American cities are thriving again, decade-old socioeconomic, rural-urban, racial, and gender divides are growing and are exacerbated by institutional inequality, despite collective best efforts, the rebirth rests largely on institutionally racist and sexist systems of the past built into our capital, land use, and transportation systems that were never taken head-on. Redlining’s legacy is felt in both rapidly gentrifying and economically frozen neighborhoods. Leaders in our field are thirsty for a genuine discussion leading to action that once and for all delivers real, permanent equity to marginalized residents and their representative communities. This is the thrust of the 2021 Community Development Summit.
Members of evolveEA will be presenting as part of the virtual session –
Planning for Power: Leading Communities in Planning Processes
About this talk
Meaningful, inclusive public engagement is critical to achieve resilient, equitable, and inclusive communities that are livable for all. Traditional processes undermine these goals, enflaming an already deep mistrust of the very institutions charged with community stewardship. Stakeholders feel – with good reason – that such approaches are exclusive by design, especially in historically marginalized communities who are starved of the capacity to meaningfully participate.New approaches are necessary if we are to help establish enforceable ground rules for developers, employers, and public agencies coming into a community. Particularly when markets switch from disinvestment to growth, equitable, transparent planning influenced by an informed, engaged resident base allows change to happen with, rather than to, a community.
This workshop-based session presents three approaches that aim to re-establish trust and level the playing field. Pittsburgh and Allentown city staff, and evolveEA, will present examples of improvements to engagement practice that bolstered public trust, addressed equity issues, and improved planning outcomes:
– Allentown’s Vision 2030 Engagement Strategy helped ensure that in a now majority-minority city that’s gaining residents are fully part of the Vision 2030 Comprehensive Plan process;
– Pittsburgh’s Public Engagement Guide created consistency in quality of engagement across the public’s interactions with the city. In some cases, the Guide changed both the city’s internal approaches and external activities. It has also helped communities co-create engagement goals and equity and transparency standards between themselves and the city on specific planning endeavors.
– evolveEA’s Community Engagement Strategy Deck provides over thirty engagement activities for citizens to gain knowledge of complex issues while sharing community expertise. Short presentations will focus on each method and lessons learned. Attendees can use and comment on all three, becoming familiar with the methods and discussing how to solve challenges, and consider applications within their own communities.