April 8 @ Harvard // A Post-Ferguson Interactive Conversation about Urban Design & Social Justice


CAMBRIDGE, MA - In the wake of events in Ferguson, Staten Island, and around the country, three organizations at the Harvard Graduate School of Design will come together on the evening of WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 to host an interactive conversation about the role of urban design in social justice and equity.  Sponsored by the Joint Center for Housing Studies, The Loeb Fellowship, and the African American Student Union, the evening will feature a dialogue among leading design, architecture, and planning professionals, exploring the power of urban form and the responsibility of design professionals in the creation of more just communities. “Our hope, with this event, is to bring together people from both inside and outside the academic environment to have an honest conversation about these timely issues,” said Michael Hays, a professor of Architectural Theory and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design who will moderate the evening’s panel.  “We have to bring social injustice and race to the forefront of our discussions of the right to the city and examine how urban planning and design can foment meaningful transformations.”

The panel will be followed by a brainstorming session where attendees will collaborate on effective design responses to racial injustice and concentrated poverty.  "As students, about to embark on careers as architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners, we know that our work will have the power to help communities move toward equality,” said Dana McKinney, president of the African American Student Union at the school.  “But it can also contribute to the building of walls, literal and figurative, that reinforce legacies of inequality. I’m excited to be part of this much-needed conversation about what we at the Graduate School of Design can do to further justice in our communities."

The event will also be live webcast, and viewers will be able to join the conversation, and Tweet questions to the panel, with #informingjustice.


  • Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard Graduate School of Design (Moderator)
  • Kimberly Dowdell, Fellow, Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellowship, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Theresa Hwang, Director of Community Design and Planning, Skid Row Housing Trust & Adjunct Assistant Professor, Woodbury University
  • Seitu Jones, Artist and former Loeb Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Liz Obgu, Designer, Urbanist, and Social Innovator

Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 6:30 p.m. 
Harvard Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy Street, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium
Free & open to the public //  More information

Contact: [email protected] or call 617-495-7640