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20th Anniversary — Mobilizing the Community Development and Design Field to Advance Equity

Hear from leaders of field-definding associations about their visions for the  future and how they’re making them a reality.

November 6, 2023

In order to develop a more equitable future, practitioners must plan for it now. Urban planning has historically been an exclusive space — leaving out the voices of residents of color and poor people. With new leadership in many of the field-defining associations, leaders of color are supporting a diversity of talent and changing the ways that city landscapes — and the residents who reside in them — are being planned for.

They’re bringing intention and an eye toward equity to their work — whether that looks like urging the current decision makers to apply the same lens or creating opportunities or implementing strategies to increase the number of planners and designers of color in the field.

During this conversation with leaders from professional organizations, speakers will discuss the work they’re doing and seeing to advance equity across the country. They’ll also share their visions for the future of their organizations and cities.

Throughout the 20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year festival, you will hear from dozens of speakers who are making change happen around issues such as reparations, community development, public health and more. Festival programming explores the solutions that we want to see spread from one city to the next. Anyone working for greater justice and equity in cities will be able to take inspiration from this festival into 2024. Purchase a single ticket now to all of the events for just $50, or pay what you wish by registering for each event individually. Everyone who donates will receive a copy of our annual Solutions of the Year special issue magazine.


Welcome Remarks:
Eva Neubauer Alligood, Executive Director, Hester Street
Eva Neubauer Alligood is a social justice leader with over three decades of experience supporting community-led efforts to create more equitable and inclusive cities and neighborhoods. She is currently the executive director of Hester Street, an urban planning, design and development nonprofit that advances racial and economic justice by working to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them. For ten years prior, she served in various senior roles in the New York office of LISC, a nonprofit community development financial institution, where she created and managed strategic partnerships with government, philanthropy and non-profit community development organizations to foster economic opportunity, strengthen small businesses, develop and preserve affordable housing, and advance health equity in historically disinvested neighborhoods. Her other planning and program development experience includes roles at the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the Pratt Center for Community Development. She serves as the Chair of the Planning Board of the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson. Eva holds a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute.


Eric Shaw, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Next City Board Chair

Eric Shaw is an urban planning professional with extensive experience in establishing and leading cross sector, cross discipline and cross jurisdictional partnerships in the areas of community and economic development. He has been recognized for his work establishing strategic initiatives that support inclusive development and resilience in communities throughout the nation. He has held positions in the public and philanthropic sectors in Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Louisiana, Silicon Valley, and Miami. He is currently Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for the City and County of San Francisco.

Eric serves on the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council, is a board member of the UCLA Alumni Association and serves on the National Trust for Historic Preservation board of advisors. In 2017 and 2018, he was recognized in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List, presented by the Financial Times.


Angela D. Brooks, FAICP, President of the American Planning Association

Angela Brooks is the Director of the Illinois office of the Corporation for Supportive Housing. She currently serves on the Chicago Board of Zoning Appeals, the Illinois Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, and is co-chair of the national Housing Supply Accelerator helping communities meet the housing needs of residents. Brooks is a native of Seattle and a graduate of Jackson State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, and the University of New Orleans, where she received a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. An active member of APA since graduate school, Brooks has held numerous leadership positions in the Housing and Community Development Division, Planning and the Black Community Division, Diversity Task Force, Washington Chapter, and co-chair of the Housing Policy Guide. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Incorporated.


Kimberly N. Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, President of the American Institute of Architects
Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, leadership, diversity, sustainability, and the future of cities. In her 2019-2020 term as national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she worked to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building professions. She also more than doubled the organization’s membership and significantly raised NOMA’s profile.

Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit, where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration at Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned architecture to government and teaching to real estate development. Kimberly is currently the director of strategic relationships and a principal with HOK, a leading global design firm. She co-founded the SEED Network in 2005 and has been a LEED-accredited professional since 2007. In 2022, Kimberly was elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees.

Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve people’s lives, by design.


Torey Carter-Conneen, CEO American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
Torey Carter-Conneen joined ASLA as Chief Executive Officer in August 2020. He has served in executive leadership roles for companies ranging in size from $7 million to $750 million in annual revenues and staff of nearly four hundred. Prior to joining ASLA, Torey served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Prior to his leadership at AILA, Torey was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Center for American Progress (CAP), COO and later Acting President and CEO at the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Institute, Divisional Controller of MV Transportation—a privately held North American transportation management corporation—and an auditor at a CPA firm.

Torey is a proud alumnus of George Mason University, where he earned degrees in economics and accounting. He later attended the University of Maryland Global Campus where he obtained an M.B.A. with a concentration on global business management and emerging markets.

Torey is also a volunteer member of ASAE’s Executive Management Professional Advisory Council and sits on the executive committee of the board for Shepherd’s Table—a community organization in Silver Spring, Maryland, providing food and support to people most in need. He also serves on the board of the American Immigration Council.

Torey and his husband Mike are fathers to two amazing children, Drew and Aiden.


Bryan C Lee Jr, Founder/ Design Principal, Colloqate Design, NOMA President Elect, Vice President – South Region
Bryan Lee is a national Design Justice Advocate with over a decade of experience in the field of architecture. He is the founding organizer of the Design Justice Platform and organized the Design As Protest National Day of Action. Bryan has led two award-winning architecture and design programs for high school students through the Arts Council of New Orleans and the National Organization of Minority Architects. He works to give other people and practices the tools to pursue Design Justice themselves, spreading the reach of Colloqate’s mission for generations to come.

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