Trauma Imaginaries: Exploring the relationship between race, place, and planning

As a practicing planner working primarily in Black communities, I noticed a pattern of visceral reactions to questions about the planning and development processes. These reactions exposed a psycho-socio-cultural phenomenon rooted in place and tied to collective memories. Because this phenomenon carries the hallmark of trauma, this paper conceptualizes communal trauma and uses it to identify, understand, and theorize this phenomenon as trauma imaginaries, an expression of communal trauma. In doing so, I seek to contribute to conversations about ethics and justice in planning through communal trauma mediation.

Building the Transdisciplinary Resistance Collective for Research and Policy: Implications for Dismantling Structural Racism as a Determinant of Health Inequity.

Structural racism is a multilevel system of ideologies, institutions, and processes that have created and reified racial/ethnic inequities. As a system, it works in concert across institutions to propagate racial injustice. Thus, efforts to address structural racism and its implications for health inequity require transdisciplinary collaboration. In this article, we begin by describing the process through which we have leveraged our discipline-specific training — spanning education, epidemiology, social work, sociology, and urban planning — to co-construct a transdisciplinary analysis of the determinants of racial health inequity. Specifically, we introduce the underlying theories that guide our framework development and demonstrate the application of our integrated framework through a case example. We conclude with potential research and policy implications.

Neely, Adrian N., Asia S. Ivey, Catherine Duarte, Jocelyn Poe, and Sireen Irsheid. “Building the Transdisciplinary Resistance Collective for Research and Policy: Implications for Dismantling Structural Racism as a Determinant of Health Inequity.” Ethnicity & Disease 30, no. 3 (2020): 381-388.

Re/Creating Tuskegee: Building Community with Recreation

This graduate thesis explored community development through recreation facilities and programming. As a community-based research project, I worked with city staff and residents to co-develop a strategic plan that promotes community engagement, partnerships, and volunteerism to develop a holistic and community-responsive recreation plan.

Shiloh Rosenwald School

Being awarded a research assistant position, I had the opportunity to research the Shiloh Rosenwald School, located in Natasulga, Alabama. I focused on how the school shaped local community development efforts.

Experiencing Poetry: Translating Spoken Word Poetry into Space

This undergraduate thesis project examined how spoken word poetry can be translated into form to produce a poetic spatial experience. My research focused on the history, concepts, and rhythm of spoken word poetry. This research was used to design a performing and visual arts high school in Jackson, Mississippi.

Social Consciousness: The Relationship between People, Culture, and Design

To explore how to be a “designer for the people,” a phrase coined at a Harvard University Graduate School of Design Inclusion Conference, I researched the sociological aspects of design. The final paper investigates two critical relationships: between society and space, and between social behavior and space, to identify the sociological effects of design and consider design methods that are more “people centered.”