Why we’re excited about the 2024 Equity Summit

Jamie Zouras, Senior Program Manager of Land Use and Development, says "I'm so excited to see community-based organizations that we've worked with for the past year come together in one space, to share lessons learned, to find solutions for overcoming barriers, and to be inspired by others doing really important work."

Our staff has been working around the clock to prepare for the 2024 Equity Summit: Meeting the Moment, which is only seven days away! As we gear up for the event, we took a moment to reflect on why it matters to us and what will make this year’s Summit particularly special.

Building community

The Equity Summit will gather housing, transportation, and community development advocates and leaders from the local area and from across the country. This opportunity to build connections with movement leaders is one of the main reasons we look forward to hosting the Summit every year.

“I’m looking forward to gathering in community with like-minded advocates and practitioners who want to advance equity through their work.” —Calvin Gladney, President and CEO

“I’m excited to meet and hear from everyone at the Summit. This means the fantastic speakers, but also the attendees from across the country who are doing crucial work day in and day out.” —Dustin Robertson, Program Manager for Thriving Communities

Gathering momentum

The Equity Summit can be a valuable source of inspiration for anyone working to advance racial equity through smart growth at this crucial moment. By building community and exchanging ideas, practitioners can find a source of mutual support and encouragement, despite resistance to meaningful progress.

“Attending the Equity Summit is extremely important to me because this is my life’s work, and it can be hard. The Summit gives me the inspiration, tools, and community to continue doing the hard work when it gets extra hard!” —Toccarra Nicole Thomas, Director of Land Use and Development

“I’m so excited to see community-based organizations that we’ve worked with for the past year come together in one space, to share lessons learned, to find solutions for overcoming barriers, and to be inspired by others doing really important work.” —Jamie Zouras, Senior Program Manager for Land Use and Development

“The Equity Summit is a great opportunity for people working on all of the different angles of smart growth to learn from each other and collaborate on what to do next. There is so much important work happening, and so much still to be done. I’m excited to be a part of it!” —Raveena John, Senior Program Associate for Thriving Communities

Digging into the details

This year’s Equity Summit will provide opportunities to explore equity from multiple angles. Keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and tours will all deliver valuable information and key insights on how to advance equity through our work in the year ahead.

“I’m excited to dive into the strategies and interventions that can move the needle on disparities we see in Dangerous by Design.” —Heidi Simon, Director of Thriving Communities

“I’m really excited for the panel discussion on using data and lived experiences to advance safe streets. As a storyteller, I believe in advocacy and personal narratives as powerful tools to not only raise awareness but inspire action.” —Rachel Ellis, Communications Associate

“I’m looking forward to the ‘Building momentum’ panel, in particular, to hear from multiple generations of environmental, equity, and climate activists, and to learn about how their efforts interact with one another. I’m excited to hear from Dr. Jacqueline Echols, whose tireless efforts to address environmental justice issues along the South River in Atlanta are inspiring.” —Megan Wright, Senior Associate for Economic Development

Smart Growth America's Equity Summit: Meeting the Moment. Save the Date: March 27-28, 2024

Will we see you there?

Tickets are still available for the Equity Summit, but time is running out! Don’t miss your chance to join us at the iconic Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC from March 27 – March 28. Learn more.


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