Equity Summit: Day 1 Workshops

Day 1 | 4:00-4:55 p.m.

At the Equity Summit, we’ve invited partner organizations to lead workshop sessions to examine real-world equity implications in planning. Join the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, CityFi, and Center for Creative Land Recycling for engaging and interactive discussions to move what we hear at the Summit into practice.

Check out the full Equity Summit agenda

Racial equity work in municipalities: REMAP and REACH initiatives

Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) Workshop

The Racial Equity Municipal Action Plan (REMAP) served as a blueprint for municipalities to create racial equity plans and to identify and address racial inequities within their governance structures, policies, and practices. Following REMAP’s foundation, the Racial Equity Advancement & Collaborative Hub (REACH) offers an actionable framework for municipalities through workshops, technical assistance, and peer learning.

This workshop will explore the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from these two initiatives and provide insights on how governments can effectively leverage these programs to foster more equitable and inclusive communities. The session will include a facilitated discussion, where participants will be encouraged to explore how these lessons can be applied within their own communities and work, fostering a collaborative exchange of ideas and practices.


Raúl González: Raúl González joined MAPC in April 2017 to assist cities and towns as they implement their economic development plans, contribute to the development of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), and identify opportunities and strategies within the economic development program. He brings experience in managing economic and community development plans, research, and analysis. Raúl is currently working on the economic development section of the Manchester-by-the-Sea Master Plan and the Brookline Economic Development Visioning Project. Prior to joining MAPC, Raúl worked at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC)—one of the nine regional planning commissions in the State of New Hampshire. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with an area of study in Public Policy and Management, from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Addressing challenges in equitable planning and implementation with actionable solutions

CityFi Workshop

This workshop will showcase real challenges faced in various equity planning processes and project implementations—and explore strategies for addressing those challenges. Participants will work through a sample scenario from a recently completed project, and work together to address political, personal, economic, and bureaucratic challenges. The team will then review proposed solutions and discuss potential outcomes. Participants will walk away with a set of real tools and methods for combating common challenges and barriers in equitable planning and implementation.


Sahar Shirazi: Sahar is passionate about enhancing equity, sustainability, and access in communities through local, regional, and national mobility and land use solutions. As an experienced problem solver, she works to frame goals and outcomes and dig into the nuance to make solutions actionable. Sahar’s varied background spans across policy and planning arenas — including transportation, land use, climate, housing, economic development, public health, and equity—and focuses on the intersections and connections between goals. Sahar received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her master’s in public policy at Mills College. She serves as the appointed Chair of the Planning Commission, Chair of the Zoning Update Committee, adjunct professor at Mills College, and on several advisory boards.

Putting equity in action through land reuse

Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) Workshop

In nearly every instance, bringing equity to an area suffering from disinvestment requires the cleanup, redevelopment, and reuse of vacant and/or underutilized properties called brownfields. Equitable land reuse projects empower marginalized communities in shaping how land is used and to consider factors such as vulnerability to climate change, potential displacement, and access to critical infrastructure. In an effort to bring equity and environmental justice to the forefront of brownfield revitalization, the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) and Groundwork USA have developed Advancing Equity in Land Reuse: A Practical Guide. This resource details the tangible steps practitioners can take to ensure that equity actions inform every step of the land reuse process. Join the writers of the guide for a workshop focused on the principles of equity in land reuse and tools to put them into practice.


Devyn Rainwater: Devyn Rainwater is a Senior Program Associate for CCLR and serves as a project lead for various programs including the USEPA R9 Vacant to Vibrant outreach effort and an equity-focused learning module with Groundwork USA. She supports CCLR’s land-reuse technical assistance delivery for EPA R9 both as a partner to EPA and the Center for Community Energy and Environmental Justice (CCEEJ). Devyn’s passion for environmental justice and equity began at UC Santa Cruz, where she studied environmental and social justice and co-founded the Global Environmental Justice Journal.

Genea Foster: Genea Foster is Groundwork USA’s Director of Climate Resilience and Land Use. In this role, Genea is responsible for leading the Climate Safe Neighborhoods program and building the capacity of Groundwork Trusts to envision and implement local climate resilience projects that build community power to drive systemic change. Genea was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and their Afro-Caribbean ancestry has shaped their deep commitment to environmental and social justice. Genea has over 10 years of experience working with youth, communities of color, and municipalities toward climate resilience, health equity, and food sovereignty through urban planning, community organizing, and popular education.


The Equity Summit gathers housing, transportation, and community development advocates and leaders to learn from one another and identify tools to advance racial equity through smart growth. The dynamic two-day program will be held in person for the first time on March 27-28, 2024, in Washington, DC, at the iconic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

The Equity Summit will uplift strategies to advance racial equity in smart growth amidst growing political uncertainty in 2024 and beyond, as well as a shift away from explicit equity initiatives by elected officials, state agencies, and the private sector.


Learn more about the Equity Summit


Advancing Racial Equity