WA-APA Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee: Equity in Planning in 2021 and Beyond

Maren Murphy, Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair

Over the last year, racial inequality has risen to the forefront of a national conversation on police brutality, social injustices, racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement. But inequality did not begin or end in 2020, and in the first week of 2021 we have already witnessed a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol Building and democracy itself. 

The national American Planning Association released the Policy Statement on Righting the Wrongs of Racial Inequality in 2020 that speaks to the historical trauma inflicted on African American communities. This includes discrimination wrought by the planning profession itself, which has led to structural disadvantages in housing, transportation, education and employment that last to this day. APA recognizes this reality and is working to center equity in all planning processes in keeping with our mission of creating great communities for all.

Building on this national commitment, the Washington Chapter of the APA will re-engage the WA-APA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDI Committee). We acknowledge that the WA-APA Chapter must do more to intentionally address racial equity in planning. To start, the EDI Committee will look to connect with planners, colleagues in related professions, and community organizations who are working to advance racial equity across Washington. We hope to build stronger relationships and trust to help change practices and dismantle barriers in our office, our work, our profession, and with the communities we serve. The EDI Committee is currently a small group of members. We are looking for additional leadership and members to help build the conversation. 

Our profession’s commitment to equity and social justice is outlined in the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, APA’s Planning for Equity Policy Guide, APA’s Ethical Principles in Planning, APA’s ongoing equity, diversity and inclusion commitment, and the newly launched Voices of Equity in Planning video series. 

The WA-APA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee is open for your participation and voice, and we hope to work alongside you as partners in learning and action. Please contact Maren Murphy at [email protected] if interested in joining us in shaping the future of the EDI Committee and its work.