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Georgia Tech Short Course: Equity, Place, and Justice: Reckoning with the Past, Planning for the Future

March 4, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 9:15 pm


The Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning and the Georgia Planning Association (GPA) have partnered on a 3-day short course for GPA members and Georgia Tech graduate students.  The cost to attend is $75, and net revenue will go to the Fellowship campaign for Equity, Justice, and Inclusive Design for students in the Georgia Tech Master’s in City and Regional Planning (MCRP) program.  This is a virtual event and has been submitted for AICP CM credits.

Thursday, March 4: 6:30 pm – 9:15 pm
Friday, March 5: 9:30 am – 4:45 pm
Saturday, March 6: 9:00 am – 1:15 pm

For more information, please contact Sei Yoshioka-Cefalo, Academic Program Manager for the Georgia Tech School of City & Regional Planning. 

Register Online

Course Description

Effective advocacy planning and equity planning require a willingness to confront the complex relationships between equity, justice, and history in places. In the U.S., the legacies of forced labor, segregation, and racial terror persist at the individual and institutional levels, showing up in conditions such as mass incarceration, voter suppression, and inequitable development practices that lead to displacement. In this short course, students will examine their understandings of equity, justice, and race using frameworks of inequality and place from leading scholars and practitioners. This short course will deepen the reflective practice of planning students through multi-media sources, readings, lectures, and active discussions. It includes engagement with the New York Times’ 1619 Project, the Equal Justice Initiative’s website and reports Lynching in America and Slavery in America, and curriculum from Mississippi’s Freedom Summer in 1964.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to

  • Share their personal understanding of the relationship between the post-Civil War Southern response to integration and present-day inequalities
  • Explain the role of enslavement, Jim Crow laws, lynching, and segregation in the community and economic development of the South
  • Identify urban planning skills and capacities that can be improved with a more thorough understanding of history
  • Reflect critically on their role as planners in policymaking and economic development, and the impact of conceptions of equity and justice in place-based work


Enrolled students will be emailed the full 3-day schedule at the beginning of February, including assignment descriptions and group assignments.


Participants will be assigned to read Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family, or Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, and then prepare a 1-page reading reflection before class starts on Thursday.

Final Deliverables (in class)

Groups of participants will submit and present a combined product of reading reflection; lessons learned, applications to planning practice, and implications for Atlanta.


Dr. Nisha Botchwey is an Associate Dean in Professional Education at Georgia Tech; Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech; and an adjunct professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health.

Dr. Botchwey’s research focuses on health, equity, and the built environment; youth development; community engagement; and data dashboards for evidence-based planning and practice.

Nene Igietseme is a 4th year Ph.D. student in City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. Her background is at the intersection of community organizing, youth development, and popular education. She is researching shared equity models for equitable neighborhood economic development. Nene is co-teaching this course with her advisor towards completion of the Tech to Teaching Certificate in the Center for Learning and Teaching at Georgia Tech.

Register Online