What is the future we want, and how are we building it together? In this episode of Urban Consulate Confidential featuring Black city-builders across the U.S., Orlando P. Bailey sits down with organizer, designer & planner Dasjon Jordan, Executive Director of Broad Community Connections in New Orleans, for a candid cross-city conversation about Black labor, success and imagination at The Cochrane House in Detroit.
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“We have to hold up the examples of how planning has caused devastation,” says Jordan. “The Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans was designed by Robert Moses, like many of the highways. They cut through the oldest Black neighborhood in the country, Tremé. And folks are still feeling that pain.”
“From a land perspective, there is room for all of us to be here. Now the question is: What are the terms we are going to be here together? And how do we start to reclaim that power for ourselves, on a case by case basis?”
Born and raised in New Orleans, Dasjon Jordan has worked with public agencies, cities, community-based organizations and the private sector on place-based economic development strategies in the U.S., South Africa and Mexico. He specializes in commercial district revitalization, focusing on small business financial and marketing ecosystems, restorative design strategies, and neighborhood cultural planning. Jordan holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT, where he was also a post-graduate fellow with the MIT Community Innovators Lab, focusing on racial and economic justice in practice and pedagogy. Before assuming his current role at Broad Community Connections, Jordan served as the Strategy and Development Officer for the Ujamaa Economic Development Corporation.
A lifelong Detroiter, Orlando P. Bailey learned how to practice community development in the neighborhood where he was born. Passionate about shifting the narrative of Black cities and neighborhoods, Bailey is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, host of Urban Consulate, Director of Engagement for BridgeDetroit, and co-host of the podcast Authentically Detroit. Rooted in his faith and radical love for his community, Bailey is a passionate advocate for city residents as experts in their lived experience.
Urban Consulate brings people together to share ideas for more just and equitable communities. This episode of Urban Consulate Confidential was filmed by Afrochine and made possible thanks to support from the Ford Foundation. To learn more, visit UrbanConsulate.com and follow @UrbanConsulate.
Urban Consulate brings people together to share ideas for better cities. Urban Consulate Confidential is presented with Next City and made possible by the Ford Foundation.