Sept 21-25, 2020                                                                                                                                      Hosted Online 


Conference Sessions, Speakers & Schedule



Moments of crisis demand an immediate response: planning, mobilizing, organizing, and producing. How might our way forward and the outcome be different, if instead, we respond first by reflecting on the past, thinking through what is most critical to address, and adopting new ways of working to match our situation? In times like these we need a reminder that slowing down is critical to moving forward with intention, staying true to our values, and lifting up the voices of those left out of the conversations. We must act, but only once we recenter ourselves, personally, professionally, and collectively as a field.

This September 21-25th, amidst the dual crises highlighting generational and systemic injustices: a global health pandemic, and the national uprisings advocating for racial justice, the Association for Community Design will host its first-ever online conference. ACD 43: RECENTER will convene folx from across the country who are shaping perception and creation of the built environment. We will explore how we can address both these historical moments with renewed commitment to advancing equity and justice in our communities. We will hold space for healing, reflection, and reconnection with ourselves and others. We will revisit our values and the wisdom of those who have come before us. We aim to gather together organizers, advocates, and designers who have become leaders in immediate response, fighting for justice, and taking direct action to end racial injustice.

This year, ACD 43: RECENTER, will be a unique opportunity to pause, focus on our intentions, remind ourselves why we do this work, reconsider how we do this work to prioritize justice and equity, take action, and create the change our communities deserve. Sessions at RECENTER will make space for our  identities outside of practitioners, engage one another to imagine how we might adapt our work, and examine the systemic injustices and inequities at the root of the symptoms we see. RECENTER will be structured around three thematic tracks; Recharge, Revisit, and Regroup.



+RECHARGE: Sessions will offer a pause; to reflect, connect with community, and replenish ourselves This moment is defined by grief, fear, exhaustion, and loss. For BIPOC communities, it is nothing new. How can we create space for ourselves and others to grieve, rest, laugh, commiserate, and reconnect to those close to us? How can we understand ourselves in this time, not only as practitioners, but also as parents, neighbors, friends, partners, children, and siblings? How can we speak about what’s difficult in order to move through it?

+REVISIT: Sessions will uncover and expand on prior lessons in addressing justice and equity

This moment is a marker, bound by “a world before” and “ a world after.” What can we learn from past leaders who built collective movements and radical change amidst crisis? How might we leverage the wisdom and methods of civil rights leaders to respond in ways that recenter community design around the issues of injustice and inequity that are at the heart of the change we seek? What is our highest calling during these unprecedented times?

+REGROUP: Sessions will allow us to question and refocus the intentions and outcomes of our work This moment is bewilderment; how, why, where, and with whom we do our work is in flux, and demands reconsideration. What do these unprecedented times mean for the future of community design? How can we use this time to create the future we seek? How might we incubate new ways of thinking and working and adapt to respond in ways that align with our values? How might we reflect on the old challenges that have not changed that we still need desperately to address?