PoC Leaders Demand Anti-Racism from Transportation Community

A group shot from the Untokening 2016 Atlanta Conference. Follow and support their work  here.
A group shot from the Untokening 2016 Atlanta Conference. Follow and support their work here.

People of color in the transportation industry are calling on their white counterparts to make concrete, public commitments to confront their history of racism and join BIPOC in building an antiracist transportation landscape — and shared many resources authored by their fellow PoC leaders to help them do that vital work.

Here’s Tamika Butler, who is the director of equity and inclusion as well as the director of planning for California at Toole Design, sharing wisdom for organizations whose recent solidarity statements rang hollow. (Leaders outside the transportation space should listen to this message, too.)

Naomi Doerner, a core organizer of mobility-justice collective The Untokening, also challenged organizations to ask themselves a deeper set of questions in this public facebook post.

Source: Naomi Doerner
Source: Naomi Doerner

Keith Benjamin, director of the Charleston, S.C., Department of Transportation, gave white leaders an enormous gift: a playbook of resources authored primarily by people of color to help apply an antiracist lens to their work. Here’s the start of the thread to whet your appetite, but we recommend clicking through and reading the whole thing.

Countless other resources are available on Twitter, including resources for those in all the built-environment professions who want to take antiracist action — we highly recommend exploring the Twitter feeds of leading BIPOC urbanists like these.

You can learn more about the work of Tamika, Keith and Naomi at their social-media accounts linked above, and you can become a sponsor of The Untokening here. 

 

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Untokening Co-founder Naomi Doerner listens to a participant during the Policy/Advocacy/Power workshop at the Untokening California convening November 4. Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.
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She had had enough of hearing her community spoken about in offensive ways by well- (and not-so-well-) meaning planners and advocates, enough of giving 110 percent of herself only to realize a fraction of what she put forward was being seen as having value, enough of how disinterested those with power over what happened in marginalized communities remained in the larger picture, and enough of being tokenized.