Un-planning Cities: reparative design and atonement in the built environment

The UWM Department of Urban Planning invites you to join us virtually March 5th, at 2:00PM for the 2021 Charles Causier Memorial Lecture. This years lecture is titled, “Un-planning Cities: reparative design and atonement in the built environment” given by Dr. Destiny Thomas. The Causier Memorial lecture will be virtual this year. Look for streaming information in the coming weeks both by email and posted to the SARUP website.

Please register for the event using this link: https://uwm.edu/sarup/submitnow/sarup-event-registration/ You can find more information about this lecture at our page here.

Dr. Destiny Thomas is a change agent. She is the founder and CEO of Thrivance Group, a multi-regional, socially responsible, for-profit firm that works to make public spaces and public services more safe, more healthy and more accessible, especially for Black, Indigneous, and transgender people, and those with disabilities.

An anthropologist planner hailing from Oakland, CA, Dr. Thomas has a combined 15 years of experience in nonprofit management and project management within government agencies, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the City of Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Thomas has led advancements in statewide racial equity initiatives for over a decade. Her focus has been urban planning, policy writing, and organizational development in communities most impacted by racial inequities.

Dr. Thomas’s areas of interest include: harm reductive planning, implementing the Dignity-Infused Community Engagement methodology, anti-displacement studies, healing environmental and infrastructural trauma, and bolstering agency and voice in marginalized communities within municipal planning processes. To this end, she launched Thrivance Group in 2020. As a culturally-rooted, trauma-informed enterprise, the team works to build capacity for these very values within municipal agencies, direct service providers, and advocacy organizations.

For her work in urban planning, Dr. Thomas was recently featured on Good Morning America. She and the Thrivance Group also hosted the Unurbanist Assembly, a 23-hour, digital event where more than 8,000 people participated in a virtual teach-in centering anti-racist frameworks in urban planning, public health, and social services sectors.

Dr. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fisk University in 2006; a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Health and Non-Profit Management from Tennessee State University in 2008; and a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2016. She is a creative who seeks to embody servant leadership, and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.