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400 Years of Inequality:

A Planners Observance for a Just Future

9:00 AM, Auditorium

A diverse coalition of organizations and individuals is calling on everyone - families, friends, communities, institutions - to plan their own solemn observance of 1619 -the year slavery was introduced to the United States. The objective is for each of us to learn about our own stories and places, and to organize for a more just and equal future -- one dedicated to dismantling structural inequality and building strong, healthy communities. Those of us engaged with ‘400 Years of Inequality’ that call ourselves urbanists – architects, preservationists, urban professional and urban planners - will facilitate a discussion of the role of the urbanist in sustaining inequality and the actions we as ‘progressive planners’ can engage in to achieve a more just society. Please join us in this important discussion.


Workshop Facilitators

Ron Shiffman

Ron Shiffman is a city planner with close to 60 years of experience providing architectural, planning, community economic development and sustainable development assistance to community-based groups in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. In 1964, Ron Shiffman co-founded the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development [PICCED], which is today the oldest continuously operated university-based community design and development center in the United States.
He sits on the boards of a number of local, national and international organizations committed to equitable and sustainable planning and development efforts such as The Center for the Living City, the Center for Social Inclusion, now Race Forward, and Shared Interest, a micro loan guarantee fund serving Southern Africa.
Ron Shiffman is the recipient of numerous awards from community-based organizations and national advocacy groups, including local and national awards from ADPSR [Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility], the local chapters of the AIA and AICP, and the Municipal Art Society. He has authored a number of articles on urban planning, sustainable development, environmental and social justice, and community economic development. He was lead editor of “Beyond Zuccotti Park- Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space.” He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners [AICP] since May 1985 and in April 2002 became a Fellow of the AICP. He was honored by the NYS American Institute of Architects in the fall of 2005 when honorary AIA membership was conferred upon him.
He recently received two prestigious awards: Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Planning Association’s National Planning Pioneer Award. The Planning Pioneer Award is presented to individuals who have made personal and direct innovations in American planning that have significantly and positively redirected planning practice, education, or theory with long-term results.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, he worked with Tulane and Cornell Universities to organize planning professionals and educators to assist in response to the devastation that occurred. He organized Pratt Institute School of Architecture’s transdisciplinary effort to assist in the rebuilding effort after Hurricane Sandy entitled “Rebuild, Adapt, Mitigate and Plan” That effort continues today as part of an international consortium addressing the challenges facing “Delta Cities.”
He is a tenured professor at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture where he chaired the Department of City and Regional Planning from 1991 to 1999. He was appointed to the NYC Planning Commission by David Dinkins and served on the Planning Commission from 1990-1996. He retired as Director of PICCED in July 2003 and is now Professor Emeritus in the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute.

Nupur Chaudhury

Nupur Chaudhury is a bridge builder and translator in the fields of urban planning and public health. Throughout her career, she has developed and implemented strategies to support residents, communities, and neighborhoods challenge power structures to build just, strong, equitable cities. She has led coalition building efforts after Superstorm Sandy through her work with the Rebuild by Design competition, redeveloped power structures in villages in India through the Indicorps fellowship, and developed a citizen planning institute for public housing residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Her work has been featured in the American Journal of Public Health, CityLab, National Public Radio, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. As a Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation, Nupur is responsible for identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities across the state.
She is a member of the American Planning Association, an Urban Design Forum’s Forefront Fellow, a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, board member of the University of Orange, chairs the Board of Made in Brownsville, and is a founding member of the Center for Health Equity, housed at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She holds degrees from Columbia University (Masters in Public Health), New York University (Masters in Urban Planning), and Bryn Mawr College (BA in Growth and Structure of Cities).

Molly Rose Kaufman

Molly Rose Kaufman is a journalist, community organizer and youth worker.  Her writing has appeared in YES! Magazine, Kinfolk Magazine and the New York Times.  She is the cofounder and director of the University of Orange, a free people's urbanism school dedicated to education for equitable cities.  She was a 2016 Civic Liberal Arts Fellow at the New School and a 2017 Next City Urban Vanguard Fellow.  Current projects include writing a play about the history of community organizing in Orange, NJ.

Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton

Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton, FAIA is currently visiting professor at Parsons School of Design and has also served on the faculties of Columbia University, Pratt Institute, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. The twelfth African American woman in the United States to be licensed to practice architecture and the second to be elected a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Dr. Sutton is a distinguished professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and served as president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Her latest book, When Ivory Towers Were Black (Fordham University Press, 2017), describes the nation's boldest recruitment of minority architecture and planning students during the Civil Rights Movement. An upcoming book, Youth Activists Transforming Injustice, shows how low-income, youth of color can, and do, change a racist, consumerist society by transforming their surroundings.

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