Bringing the Local Perspective of Black Architects and Planners to Coincide with NMAAHC Symposium

The Department of Architecture was generously invited by Dr. Michelle Wilkinson of the National Museum of African American History and Culture to collaborate in bringing the local perspective of Black architects and planners to coincide with the museum’s symposium, Shifting the Landscape: Black Architects and Planners, 1968 to Now.

Architects, planners, historians, and community members engaged in conversations last Thursday, September 27, 2018 about the shared local experiences of the 1968 urban rebellions throughout Washington, D.C. following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Black designers and planners have been at the forefront of responding to the needs of the community since 1968. Many of these practitioners were trained at Howard University’s architecture and planning programs and were instrumental in the rebirth of the city’s physical environment. The event provided a forum for an open exchange of ideas and issues to improve participation among various and diverse ethnic groups in Washington, D.C.

“The most powerful conversation on community change happened right down here on Georgia Avenue,” commented Eric D. Shaw, Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning. About where our future as a community is headed, he added that with a degree in architecture and planning, “we have the skills to take back our neighborhoods.”

Many thanks to our panelists and guests who attended and contributed to making our very own symposium, Broken Landscapes: Local Perspectives on Black Architects and Planners Since 1968, a success!

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