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SPACES & PLACES 2021: Visions of Black-led Communities – Freedom Hill

Spaces & Places assembles urbanists, planners, and city-builders for reflection on Black leadership in communities.

August 6, 2021

Freedom Hill – ​Trailer premier and breakout session

DAY 2 | August 6th |

Princeville, NC is the first town incorporated by freed, enslaved Africans in America located in North Carolina. Before its incorporation, residents called it ‘Freedom Hill,’ gradually establishing a self-sufficient, all Black town. The historical town has been inundated with flooding over the centuries.

The session will highlight the community of Princeville including the premiere trailer of the upcoming documentary short Freedom Hill.


Cierra Hinton,  Executive Director-Publisher at Scalawag

Cierra is the Executive Director-Publisher at Scalawag. She is also a member at Blue Engine Collaborative, a network of independent consultants and advisors to media organizations around the world. Cierra is a creative strategist; she centers imagination, play, and community in her work. She loves to build with teams and individuals as they drive toward outcomes that matter in a way that is inclusive and authentic. She’s thrilled to currently do that as a coach with the Facebook Sustainability Accelerator and UNC-Knight Table Stakes programs. 

Before her current role, Cierra was an individual giving officer at a number of education non-profits. Fundraising is yet another manifestation of Cierra’s life purpose: it is her personal mission to find, gather, and distribute resources to folks that share her identities and have been historically disinherited, namely Black, Indigenous, queer, women and femme identifying people, and folks from rural and low-income communities. Cierra's work as a community organizer previously with Ignite NC and now with the Southern Movement Assembly grounds that work. 

Cierra has also served as the Director of Network Building and Operations at Press On, a Southern media collective and was a fellow at the Poynter Institute through the Media Transformation Challenge. She sits on the boards of LION Publishers and the NC Local News Workshop. 

Cierra lives in Durham with her partner, J.


Kofi Boone, FASLA, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, NC State University College of Design

Kofi Boone, FASLA is a University Faculty Scholar and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at NC State University in the College of Design. Kofi is a Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan (BSNR 1992, MLA 1995). His work is in the overlap between landscape architecture and environmental justice with specializations in democratic design, digital media, and interpreting cultural landscapes. Kofi’s teaching and professional work have earned awards including student and professional ASLA awards. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Corps Network as well as the Landscape Architecture Foundation where he is President-Elect. Kofi serves on the advisory board of The Black Landscape Architects Network.  He has published work broadly in peer-reviewed as well as popular media. including The Conversation, Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Magazine.


Resita Cox, Director, Freedom Hill Documentary
Resita is a North Carolina-born, Chicago-based independent filmmaker and artist. Resita launched her career in journalism at WTVD-TV in Raleigh, NC and WCTI-TV in New Bern, NC as a multimedia journalist and news reporter. Resita transitioned from news media to documentary film in 2018, where she was named a Chicago Filmmakers Digital Media Production Grantee for her film, Regrowth, which is about food and environmental justice on the West Side of Chicago. Resita has also worked with Kartemquin Films as the Impact Producer on their Emmy-nominated docu-series produced with The Marshall Project, We Are Witnesses. She is the director of Freedom Hill, a documentary about the environmental racism that is washing away the first town chartered by Black people in the nation, and the creative director and founder of Black Archive Media. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University in Documentary Film and is a 2021 Sister’s in Cinema Documentary Fellow.


Savonola “Savi” Horne, Executive Director, Land Loss Prevention Network
Savi Horne is Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers’ Land Loss Prevention Project,  a non-profit law firm that has offered, for more than 38 years, legal representation of clients, community economic development, and professional outreach in the effort to promote wealth, land preservation, and rural livelihoods. As a state, regional, and national non-governmental organization leader, she has been instrumental in addressing the needs of socially disadvantage farmers and rural communities. She graduated from Rutgers University, School of Law–Newark, New Jersey, and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1990.


Marquetta Dickens aka “Q”, Director, Freedom Org
Born and raised in Princeville, NC, Marquetta Dickens aka “Q”, developed a love for basketball at a young age and made a name for herself in North Carolina holding top scoring records. Q attended college at NC State University where she was a 4 year starter, advancing to the sweet sixteen in her final season. Upon graduating NC State, Q went on to play professionally living abroad in both Portugal and Poland. 

After ending her playing career, Q found a new love for coaching.  In 2016, while coaching at St Elizabeth University, her hometown of Princeville was hit by Hurricane Matthew and Q learned more about her town's history and relevance to Black History in America. She also learned of the economic distress and more that threatened the town's existence and decided to start a non profit dedicated to addressing these concerns. Her organization, Freedom Org continues to be dedicated to bringing social justice to her hometown in Edgecombe County, North Carolina. 


SPACES & PLACES assembles urbanists, planners, and community leaders for a 2-day event of virtual learning and exchange.

SPACES & PLACES, born of the necessity for Black communities to be acknowledged within the built environment, embarks on a unique film festival convening for 2021. Now in its fifth year, the annual grassroots (un)conference will be hosted virtually in partnership with Next City. This year’s theme, Visions of Black-led Communities, centers the past, present and future of Black leadership in rural U.S. communities, highlighting utopian planning and community self-determination.

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