Equity Diversity Inclusion

APA has made a focused commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in all forms, as a means to achieving thriving communities in which everyone has equal opportunity to live a safe, healthy and prosperous life.

Diversity and Inclusion Mission, Vision, and Strategy

Participants at the Plan4Equity Forum in San Francisco at the 2019 National Planning Conference. Photo by The Photo Group.

Participants at the Plan4Equity Forum in San Francisco at the 2019 National Planning Conference. Photo by The Photo Group.

APA reached a milestone in April 2018 when the APA Board of Directors approved a Diversity and Inclusion strategy. This sets forth an association-wide plan for how we better promote the understanding and practices of diversity and inclusion, both within and outside the planning community and profession.

This strategy is the result of years of conversation and dedication among our members and leaders, and APA thanks the many voices that paved the way for this organizational transformation and fostered the roots of meaningful change.

APA Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Centering Equity in Planning

In 2019, APA's Board accepted the report of a special Social Equity Task Force and ratified the Equity in Planning Policy Guide. Recommendations from both documents were reviewed by the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and are being integrated into the existing Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. APA's elected leaders are currently centering equity in the organization's strategic planning process.

Achieving a foundation built on equity, and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion, is an evolutionary process that will require ongoing learning and improvement. The goals in the strategy are being carried out on many fronts over time by various levels of leadership, component groups, member volunteers and staff.

This webpage will be updated regularly to describe how this journey is coming to life dynamically.

Voices of Equity in Planning Video Series

Equity is a necessary guiding principle for planners and all who participate in the process of planning as advisors, advocates, and decision makers. The first video in APA's new multi-part series, Voices of Equity in Planning, includes interviews with public- and private-sector planners across the country, whose work has centered equity for years.

Watch the Videos

How Can YOU Get Involved?

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee contributes to learning that advances an EDI-focused culture within APA and the profession, and provides insights to APA elected and executive leadership on equity, diversity and inclusion that advances APA's approved strategies.

Silvia E. Vargas, FAICP | Chair
Elizabeth (Libby) Tyler, FAICP | Vice Chair

Committee Members
Batul Ather
Angela D. Brooks, AICP
Marcella Bondie Keenan, AICP
Alexander D. Cahill
Edna Ledesma, PhD
Victoria Mason-Ailey, AICP
Mehri Mohebbi, PhD
Perris Straughter, AICP
Susan A. Wood, FAICP

Staff Liaisons
Liz Lang
Yaminah Noonoo

APA Chapters and Divisions

APA Chapters and Divisions are actively committed to promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity within local communities and the broader planning field.

APA Divisions and EDI

APA Divisions connect you with other planning professionals who share your passions, challenges, and experiences. Although all APA divisions are committed to promoting diversity and equity within local communities as well as the field, four APA divisions and one interest group specifically focus on planning issues that concern special populations. Explore what Divisions have to offer (students can join up to five for free).

APA Chapters and EDI

Chapters get you involved in APA close to home. They're your local source for networking and professional development. You'll share experiences with colleagues and broaden your perspective beyond your commission or office. When you join APA, you automatically become a member of your local chapter.

A number of chapters are engaged in addressing diversity and social equity. Chapters are hosting their own diversity summits, offering mentoring programs, and cultivating diverse chapter leaders. The following APA Chapters have active diversity committees:

Visit your local chapter's website to learn more about its diversity efforts and to catch up on the latest planning information in your region.

Equity Diversity Inclusion Blog Posts

APA Library E-Book Collection on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

For more resources on these topics, please visit the APA library's e-book collection (available for checkout by APA members).

Diversity Resources

  • Planning for Equity Policy Guide

    by: American Planning Association
    APA's first-ever Planning for Equity Policy Guide identifies policy recommendations for planners to advocate for equity in all aspects of planning at local, state, and federal levels.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Training Series

    Planning for diversity and inclusion requires intentional efforts to dismantle systems of oppression and advance liberation and self-determination. This course equips planners with concepts and skills to perform inclusive and equitable planning and work effectively in diverse communities.
    • Daniel Lim
    • Giovania Tiarachristie
    CM | 2
  • Planning With Diverse Communities

    PAS Report 593
    by: Ivis Garcia, AICP, Andrea Garfinkel-Castro, Deirdre Pfeiffer, AICP
    The U.S. will become a “majority-minority” country by the mid-2040s. More than before, planners must serve diverse publics and build inclusive communities. This PAS Report offers the tools planners need to engage people of color and improve quality of life for all in ethnically and racially diverse communities.
    List price
    APA member & PAS subscriber
  • Fostering Social Equity and Inclusive Growth Series

    Social equity is the defining issue of our time. In light of today's political uncertainties and challenges we put together this three-part series to help planners foster broad-based, inclusive growth, and ensure they are creating more just and equitable communities. Take this course to learn more about how planners are making a difference.
    • Cynthia Bowen, FAICP
    • Carlton Eley
    • Jess Zimbabwe, AICP
    • Majestic Lane
    CM | 3.25
  • Planning Ethics and Today's Challenges

    All practitioners sometimes grapple with the right thing to do in complex and often ambiguous situations that seem inconsistent with their own experiences or the AICP code. Learn how to make ethical decisions more easily.
    • Carolyn Loh
    • Bonnie Johnson, AICP
    • Mickey Lauria
    • Nader Afzalan
    • Lisa Schweitzer
    • Sandra Rosenbloom
    CM | 1.50
    E | 1.50
  • Queer and the Conversation: Full Inclusion

    Consider ethical responsibilities in reducing homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism; learn to create safer, freer environments for all community members; and practice being mindful of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
    • Cade Hobbick, AICP
    • Vanessa Delgado
    • Bonnie Johnson, AICP
    CM | 1.50
    E | 1.50
  • Planning for Equity

    Creating equitable outcomes requires a commitment to applying different approaches to planning practice. Explore case studies and practical actions that everyday planners can take to plan for more equitable growth and development.
    • Broderick Bagert
    • Juan Castillo
    • Saneta devuono-powell
    • Eric Engstrom, AICP
    • Tina Yuen
    CM | 1
  • Planning: Where Community Engagement Meets Equity

    This session provides information on conducting meaningful engagement of minority and low-income communities in the planning process and discusses successful approaches and techniques to ensure equitable outcomes.
    • Jose Acosta-Cordova
    • Edna Ledesma
    • Derek Hull
    • Fleming El-Amin, AICP
    CM | 1
  • Promoting Diversity and Inclusive Communities

    Discover the barriers to integration of diversity in planning education and practice through recent studies that explore perceptions and personal experiences of diversity in the workplace, practice, and education. Learn strategies to foster diversity and promote culturally competent planning.
    • Ivis Garcia Zambrana, AICP
    • Marla Parker
    • Giovania Tiarachristie
    • April Jackson
    CM | 1.50
  • Diversity in Practice

    This session showcases perspectives from a planner, interior designer/architect, and public-health professional on methods to increase diversity in planning processes and policy decisions.
    • Bakeyah Nelson
    • Latoya Nelson Kamdang
    • Kelly Porter, AICP
    CM | 0.50
  • Spatial Justice and the Shrinking City

    Legacy cities like Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans face challenges in providing services and infrastructure over vast areas that are sparsely populated and have limited resources. How can planners address issues of environmental justice and spatial equity in communities like these?
    • Janet Attarian
    • Christina Harris
    • Donald Roe
    • Kurt Culbertson
    CM | 1.25