A History of Race and Urban Development in the United States: Part 1

When:  Dec 7, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (ET)

Race and urban development in the United States

Part 1: History

Course Description

This session will provide an overview of examples of how racial injustice is embedded in our built environment. Participants will learn about the history of race-based zoning, redlining, block-busting, racially restrictive covenants, and other determinants of inequity in the built environment. Participants will gain a better understanding of racial segregation in our cities, and the long-lasting impacts that have an influence on current inequities.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will gain an understanding of historical examples that illustrate how systemic racism diminishes justice and broad well-being in the built environment.
  2. Participants will learn about practices, policies and processes that have contributed to inequities and unequal welfare in the built environment.
  3. Participants will be introduced to healthy practices to process the history of architecture and related professions in their practice.
  4. Learn and define terminology for more inclusive and equitable design processes.


Shalini Agrawal brings over 25 years of experience in community engagement, and has dedicated her career to bringing diversity and equity in design, art and architecture. She is co- director of Pathways to Equity, a leadership experience supporting responsible community- engaged design, and founder and principal of Public Design for Equity, an equity-driven practice for equity-driven outcomes. Shalini is on the board of Architects Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility, and Association for Community Design as their Director of Fellowship. She is Associate Professor in Critical Ethnic Studies and Interdisciplinary Design Studios at California College of the Arts.  

Garrett Jacobs is the Director of Operations of the Open Architecture Collaborative (OAC) and the Pathways to Equity Co-Director. Garrett serves as the Chief of Finance and Operations for Designing Justice Designing Spaces, a non-profit architecture and real estate organization working to end mass incarceration and its root causes. Garrett collaborates to provide operations, finance, strategy and fundraising services balanced with a focus for community engagement, self awareness, and interdisciplinary and multicultural team building. He has worked with Code for America coordinating their Peer Network and managing government relations through their Fellowship program. During this time he became immersed in technology and how it can be used to bring people together and necessity for interdisciplinary programming. While studying Architecture in New Orleans, Garrett was deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina which solidified his commitment to community, equity and racial justice. 

Jess Zimbabwe is the Executive Director of Environmental Works Community Design Center in Seattle. Previously, she founded a consulting practice, Plot Strategies, and served for ten years as the founding Director of the Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership—a partnership of the National League of Cities and the Urban Land Institute. Before that, Jess led the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and was Community Design Director at Urban Ecology in Oakland. She serves on the boards of Next City, the National Main Street Center, and Colloqate. She is a licensed architect, certified city planner, LEED-Accredited Professional, and a member of the urban planning faculties at Georgetown University and the University of Washington.