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Black Kids in Outer Space interviews Derrick Washington of Newark Community Cycling Center whose goal is to create a cycling center in Newark. Join us while we talk to one of the founders.

 

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If you can't be a regular member give a one time payment of $20.00. BKIOS is member supported, so we can stay independent. We want to write internationally and nationally. We want to write from a Black perspective and for the Black audience and we want to do it without being pathologizing. Support us in creating media for us and by us. By giving to us you're supporting media that is dedicated to amplifying the voice of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in the North America and the African diaspora community outside the North America on the topics of urban planning, transportation, and the environment.

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Prescott Reavis is an Oakland based spatial activist, designer, planner and educator who has merged his 20 years of experiences in architecture, planning, and education to develop and construct inclusive communities throughout the nation with a focus on design equity and planning justice. Prescott’s experience includes being an Associate and Director of Student Internships for the internationally acclaimed design firm Ashen+Allen now known as Stantec, he completed over 4 million square feet of award winning construction, where he focused on Healthcare and Academic projects for 13 years; his completed projects included the Veterans Hospital in Seattle, Washington; the planning and design of the LEED Gold, Energy Center for the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center at Mission Bay and completion of the first ground up in the State of California, LEED Sliver Certified Laguna Honda Hospital, the country’s largest publicly owned and operated skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, Santa Clara County Medical Center’s Specialty Medical Office Building, the Sesimic Master Plan for Stanford’s School of Medicine and academic research buildings for UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and The University of Missouri in Columbia. Before Anshen +Allen, Prescott spent four years working for HLM Design in Portland Oregon, and San Francisco.

He moved to the Bay Area in 1999 to establish a new HLM office in San Francisco. While at HLM, Prescott completed the Master Plan for California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, The Pediatric Specialty Ward for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, The Master Plan for Delano Regional Medical Center and The New Main Entry and Ambulatory Care Center for St. John’s Medical Center in Longview, WA. Currently, Mr. Reavis is The Director of Community Planning and a Project Manager for the nationally recognized, nonprofit AND Architecture + Community Planning, in San Francisco where he provides community engagement, planning, design services and advocacy for non-profits, small business and community based organizations as well as linking design with workforce development projects. Prescott’s current projects including redesigning the waiting rooms of all the Community Behavioral Health Services clinics for The San Francisco Department of Public Services; Community Engagement, Visioning and Planning for the Black Cultural Zone in Oakland; Planning and Design of a new childcare facility; and Tenant Interior Projects for several non-profits.

Prescott is an award-winning youth educator having taught over fifteen years with students from elementary school through high school on architecture, planning, culture, and sustainability. He has served as the Co-Chair of the AIA San Francisco Mentorship Committee, A founding member of the San Francisco Chapter of National Organization of Minority Architects (SFNOMA), the Vice President of SFNOMA, and the NOMA University Liaison for the West, Chair of the NOMA National Student Competition and of NOMA’s Project Pipeline. Presently, Mr. Reavis is Teaching Artist for Youth Art Exchange leading the Design + Build Introduction to Architecture and Construction course to San Francisco High School students, a Youth Plan Learn Action Now! (Y-PLAN) consultant and was named a Y-Plan Hero from UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools for his work with Malcolm X Academy in the Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco over the last decade. He is a founder and current director of Project Pipeline San Francisco, an architecture and community planning camp for middle school students focusing on creating the next generation of minority spatial activist and civically engaged designers; he was recently presented the Mentor Award by AIA SF.

Mr. Reavis is accredited in Sustainable Design, certified in Social Economic Environmental Design and has completed all of his Architecture Registration Exams, he earned his Bachelor of Architecture with a minor in Education from Howard University, he was honored with the Alpha Rho Ci medal for his dedication to youth education and mentoring in the DC community. Prescott has completed certificates in Applications in Technology in Planning and Community Design and Development at San Jose State University, where he is completing his Masters in Urban Planning, his thesis is creating recommended policies and programs to engage youth on all public planning and building projects for the City of Oakland, California. Prescott is passionate about collaborating and empowering communities to lead the improvements of their neighborhoods and cities to create holistic sustainable communities and fostering confidence in youth to have them understand that through education, hard work, dedication, and cooperation they can become leaders in improving their block, neighborhood and city, as well as helping to diversify the professions of architecture and planning through community based projects and initiatives.

 

One time payment to support Black Kids in Outer Space.

If you can't be a regular member give a one time payment of $20.00. BKIOS is member supported, so we can stay independent. We want to write internationally and nationally. We want to write from a Black perspective and for the Black audience and we want to do it without being pathologizing. Support us in creating media for us and by us. By giving to us you're supporting media that is dedicated to amplifying the voice of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in the North America and the African diaspora community outside the North America on the topics of urban planning, transportation, and the environment.

$20.00

Support our Kickstarter. Support media on urban planning and transportation by the community. Don’t be written out your home, support media that supports you!

 

Chanceé Lundy Russell is a small business owner, author, wife, mother, friend, COOKIE ADDICT and Outkast fan still waiting on the reunion. She believes that life presents us all with a unique set of challenges, but it is our response to those challenges that shape our destiny. This Selma, Alabama native is a community conscious engineer who co-founded Nspiregreen LLC an urban planning and engineering firm in Washington, DC. Through this firm her work focuses on engaging the public in projects that impact them, developing transportation plans and preventing and reducing environmental inequities in marginalized communities.

Chanceé was a first-generation college student that saw education as the key to transform her circumstances. She received her Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Florida State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. Mrs. Lundy is a global citizen and has lead and participated in trainings on social justice issues and engineering achievement in: Accra Ghana; Mali, West Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and Bosnia Herzegovina. In addition, she participated in the International Scholar Laureate Program’s Delegation on Engineering to China. She is a past National Chair of Black Youth Vote, past National Chair and Lifetime Member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was in the inaugural class of Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholars.

She has been recognized by US Black Engineer as one of the Top 100 Most Important Blacks in Technology and selected by Ebony Magazine as one of the 30 Leaders of the Future. Further, she believes it is her life’s mission to serve others and champions issues and opportunities to empower women and small businesses. She is currently a Mayoral appointee to the Chesapeake Bay Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and advisory board member to the NSBE Environmental Engineering Special Interest Group as well as T.R.E.E. (Together Restoring Economic Empowerment) an organization committed environmental and economic justice. She is on the School of Business Advisory Board for Columbia Southern University and she is the founder of a new organization, Destination Liberation, which is dedicated to exposing, educating, and empowering young women in Selma through international travel.

She is an author and has published two anthologies. It’s Just High School: Inspiring Reflections of the Beauty, Pain and Pressure of High School and EmpowerMoments for the Everyday Woman: A 31 Day Devotional to Empower Your Womanhood. Chanceé resides in Washington, DC with her husband Dwight R. Russell and her rambunctious son Amari K. Russell.

 

Tiffany Robinson is currently a Senior Planner for The City of West Hollywood, managing the Citywide Bike Share Program, WeHo Pedals and serving as the Bike Share Coordinator. She has over 13 years of planning experience in local, regional and statewide planning projects.

Before moving to the West Coast, Tiffany lived in New Jersey and worked for The RBA Group on projects involving bicycle and pedestrian facility planning, scenic byways, trails, open space and recreational master plans, and the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School and Pedestrian Safe Corridor initiatives. She was one of the founding members of the American Planning Association’s New Jersey Chapter Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Committee (ECDC), which was created in 2009 to actively promote and increase awareness among APA-NJ members for socially equitable planning that embraces the diversity and unique perspectives found in communities across the State. In addition, she served as a Trustee and Outreach Chair for Bike&Walk Montclair, a local bicyclist and pedestrian advocacy group.

Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Public Policy from Boston University. When she’s not in the office, she’s creating a new playlist on Spotify, kicking back at the beach, checking out the latest foodie pop-up, searching for a great documentary, or planning her next adventure!

Support our Kickstarter support media on urban planning and transportation by the community. Don’t be written out your home, support media that supports you!

 

Paul A.Toliver is an over 30 year veteran in the transportation field. In the 80s he was the Deputy GM and Chief Transportation Officer at San Francisco Muni, from there he moved on to King County in Washington where he was the Director of Transportation, and finally he ended his public sector career as the Chief Operating Officer at the Detroit Department of Transportation. He is currently the principal for New Age Industries consulting, a transportation and technology marketing and consulting firm focusing on establishing and managing relationship for clients with new and emerging technologies.He holds a MBA from University of Cincinnati, Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

The best and the brightest of African-American community have never had the privilege to be destroyed by madness; they have always been starved. The Civil Rights Act failed to fulfill the economic requirement and the void was ready to be filled by “New Blacks” who would do the work of their masters and get paid well to preempt the inevitable accusations of racial prejudice.

When you hear nonprofit and affordable housing they don’t mean what you think they mean, because 1960s redevelopment changed the game.

Redevelopment began in the 1960s. It coincided with the Civil Rights Movement.  Areas that were targeted for redevelopment were areas designated as “blight,” but many of the areas weren’t blighted. Areas like Inglewood a suburban city near Los Angeles in the 1960s wasn’t an area of blight, but it was an area that was quickly changing from white to Black.

The Demonstration Cities Act of 1966 (called the Models Cities Program) inspired redevelopment.

Redevelopment was the beginning of the government handing off its responsibilities to its citizens to developers and corporate. This single act fundamentally changed how the government, activism and, politics would work in the U.S. Redevelopment was essentially the Citizens United for activism.

“Private Initiative and Enterprise: The Program calls for encouragement of private initiative and enterprise of all kinds— the initiative and enterprise of individual homeowners, contractors, and builders to improve housing and environmental conditions; the involvement of business leaders and financial interests in carrying out the program, and the creation of an environment in which private enterprise can prosper in meeting the needs of the resi dents,” Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.

Though the Model Cities Program ended in 1974 it  provided a perfect model on how to make poverty profitable for corporations and developers.

Designating an area for redevelopment meant that the community no longer had the freedom to do with their community as they wished.

Redevelopment took money from an area’s school district as well as its county, state and city services. Propositions like 13 in California and 2 ½ in Massachusetts weren’t the only thing that killed schools. Redevelopment took away funding from areas designated as the “inner city” (you know BLACK) all over the US.

What redevelopment essentially did was take tax dollars that used to go to the upkeep of cities and school districts and placed it in the hands of developers.

Redevelopment made the Civil Rights Movement toothless. It took away funds to run African-American communities and made poverty a money making endeavour —not for the poor, but for those “helping” the poor.

With city and county services being cut to give tax breaks (and tax credits) to corporate America and wealthy developers, those controlling the government realized they needed a stop gap. If the number of social workers are cut and funding for the schools is taken away there needs to be  a cheap way to replace those people and services.

If government owned housing projects are closed down those also need to be replaced.

The rightwing always felt that government needed to be smaller and they made it smaller.

This is where nonprofits began to come into play. Nonprofits are fine to supplement supports already in place, but in the African-American community they are now the foundation of the community.

Foundation funded nonprofits are an underfunded clever way to outsource government services and defund them.

And who is going to say anything bad about a nonprofit that is just helping the kids and the underserved?

Section 8 vouchers point are to privatize housing for the poor. Developers have learned how to profit from poverty. Developers have also realized that they can combine with a nonprofit (or church) and get the money to build low-income properties almost entirely paid for— by the community.

For example in Inglewood, California there was a project that was approved in 2011 called the Chandler Partners Regent Square development. It is a $42 million project funded with $13.9 million in housing set-aside funds, $4 million in HUD HOME, $20 million in tax exempt bonds and tax credit equity. That means the Chandler Partners built a private project with public money with no requirement after the project is done that it remain affordable or even a discussion prior to its approval if the surrounding community even wanted the project.

The Chandler Partners built a private project with public money ($37 million, is not a little money folks, they got a $42 million project built with only $5 million of their money and $37 million of YOURS) with no requirement after the project is done that it remain affordable. (In another post I’ll explain how short this time is with real life examples.)

And we all know what affordable means…In San Francisco, a family of four with an income of $105,000 per year would qualify for Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers. In New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, DC, a family of four making more than $70,000 could qualify.

Foundation funded nonprofits have taken the place of working professionals. Instead of a nurse to give healthcare advice there is a poorly paid health community organizer. Foundation funded nonprofits have made jobs that at one point provided a somewhat comfortable middle class existence to professionals with agency and converted them to barely above minimum wage jobs with no health benefits and no retirement and no agency for those employed —to help people.

The poor are hired to help the poor, and they are paid poorly to do so.

Foundation funded nonprofits have taken the politics out of communities. Your community giving a hundred dollars here or there won’t shut you up, but a foundation dropping you $10,000 here and $50,000 there just might shut you up.

Most nonprofits can not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of their activities. Most nonprofits cannot participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

If Dr. King had been an executive director of a nonprofit Black people would still be sitting at the back of the bus.

Foundation (CORPORATE) funded nonprofits are the cover to slowly release the U.S. government from its social contract with the people of the U.S.

Policy strikes the Black community again, but I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose, at least this time…

by
Lark Lo

Support our Kickstarter support media on urban planning and transportation by the community. Don’t be written out your home, support media that supports you!

 

June A. Grant is the founding principal of Blink!Lab Architecture. Sheis an architect and designer whose work focuses on the intersection of technology and the re-socialization of urban space. As a design lead she has more than 15 years of experience in master planning, architecture, interior design and bespoke fabrication.

Integral to her approach is an avid belief in experimentation.  Combined with her high energy and aptitude for innovation, June is heavily involved in front-end conceptualization of her projects. Her contributions have been consistently recognized for their rational yet provocative approach: always resolving complex issues and client goals. She has a Masters in Architecture from Yale and was project manager in designing the first Space Station on Earth (NASA Ames Research Center).