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SPACES & PLACES 2021: Visions of Black-led Communities – Soul City

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

August 5, 2021

Soul City – ​Film Screening and Session discussion

DAY 1 | August 5th

Soul City is a planned community in North Carolina that was first proposed in 1969 by Floyd McKissick, a civil rights leader and director of the Congress of Racial Equality. Soul City was one of thirteen model city projects under the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act. The city was intended to be a community built and open to all races, but placed emphasis on providing opportunities for minorities and the poor.


Danielle Purifoy, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Danielle Purifoy is a writer and assistant professor of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on environmental justice and the racial politics of development in Black towns and communities. Danielle serves as Board Chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and on the leadership team of Durham Beyond Policing in Durham, North Carolina. She is the former Race and Place editor of Scalawag, a media organization devoted to Southern storytelling, journalism, and the arts.


Floyd McKissick Jr., NC Utilities Commission, former NC Senator

Floyd McKissick, Jr. is a veteran attorney and current North Carolina Utilities Commissioner appointed by Governor Roy Cooper. Mr. McKissick previously represented Durham County in the North Carolina Senate from 2007 to 2019, where he served as the Senior Deputy Democratic Leader. He served as chairman of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus from 2010-2012.  He is the son of the late civil rights activist, attorney, and founder of Soul City, Floyd B. McKissick.

Mr. McKissick has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from Clark University, a Master's in Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard, and a JD from Duke.
Some of his awards and honors include: NC Housing Coalition Legislator of the Year Award, NC Justice Center’s Defender of Justice Award, NAACP Political Trailblazer Award, APA – NC Chapter Distinguished Leadership Award, Smart Growth America’s Leadership Award, National recognition as the primary sponsor of North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act and his leadership on sustainable development issues


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.


SPACES & PLACES will assemble 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. During its fifth year, the annual grassroots (un)conference was 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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