Full Program

Keynote Speakers:

Design as Protest 

Co-organized by BIPOC designers, we exist to hold our profession accountable in reversing the violence and injustice that architecture, design, and urban planning practices have inflicted upon Black people and communities. Design as Protest champions the radical vision of racial, social, and cultural reparation through the process and outcomes of design. Design as Protest is a coalition of designers mobilizing strategy to dismantle the privilege and powers structures that use architecture and design as tools of oppression.


Atianna Cordova


Atianna J. Cordova is a New Orleans native, and the founder of WATER BLOCK and WATER BLOCK Kids. WATER BLOCK is an urban design studio that works to advance racial and environmental justice in our built environment through design, community engagement, and planning. This year, she also formally launched WATER BLOCK Kids, which teaches elementary age youth about architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and real estate through a social justice lens. Atianna is recognized as LSU School of Architecture’s first McNair Research Scholar, a 2016 UC Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence Travel Fellow, a 2017 Salzburg Global Fellow, the co-winner of Propeller’s 2018 Water Challenge Pitch Competition, a 2018 and 2019 4pt0 Schools Fellow, and a 2019 C40 Women4Climate member for her work. Atianna received her M.Sc in Disaster Resilience Leadership from Tulane University, Bachelor of Architecture from LSU, and Certificate in Community Development Finance from the University of New Orleans. 


Ujijji Davis  

Landscape Architect + Urban Planner, Smith Group, Detroit, MI

Based in Detroit, Ujijji Davis Williams is a practicing landscape architect and urban planner who focuses on landscape and urban design, master planning and strategic implementation. She is currently an Associate at SmithGroup, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Architecture. Burgeoning as a researcher, Ujijji explores the intersection between landscape, place and racial identity, and the responsibilities of landscape architecture for historic reconciliation through design. In 2019, she won the ASLA Bradford Williams Medal of Excellence for her critical essay, “The Bottom: The Emergence and Erasure of Black American Urban Landscapes.” She holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. She’s originally from Brooklyn.


Oscar Perry Abello  

Senior Economics Correspondent at Next City

Oscar Perry Abello is a New York City-based journalist covering alternative economic models and policies in cities for several publications, chiefly Next City — an independent, not-for-profit, online magazine where he is currently senior economics correspondent. He also contributes to Yes! Magazine, City & State New York, Impact Alpha, Shelterforce, and other outlets. Oscar is a child of immigrants descended from the former colonial subjects of the Spanish and U.S. imperial regimes in the Philippines. He was born in New York City, and raised in the inner-ring suburbs of Philadelphia.Oscar has a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, where he majored in economics and minored in peace and justice studies. He spent several years embedded in the international development industry before transitioning to into journalism full-time in 2015.


Juliana Pino  

Policy Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Chicago, IL

Juliana Pino is the Policy Director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). Born in Tuluá, Colombia, and raised in both Colombia and the United States, Juliana’s personal life is transnational and her background is interdisciplinary. At LVEJO, Juliana analyzes, researches, and advocates for environmental justice, climate justice, and economic justice in local, state, and federal environmental policy. Our campaigns cross many areas, including energy, food, water, air, land use, brownfields, toxics, transportation, workforce development, and others. Her work focuses on: advancing energy democracy and community self-determination in regulatory and policy arenas; creating just transition with meaningful collaborative and participatory management of shared environmental resources; and centering frontline community leaders as generators of transformative policy ideas and governance models. Additionally, Juliana is committed to facilitating and cultivating processes that promote social justice and public health, has experience in multi-party negotiation and mediation, and works to build robust decision-making frameworks that center the perspectives of those most affected by both broader structural oppression and the specific policies being deliberated.


Conference Sessions:  

(full session descriptions here)

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. 

  • “Memories as Catalysts for Social Change” - Katya Reyna

  • “Considering Language and Word Value” - Joshua Budiongan + Siboney Diaz-Sanchez 

  • “Prioritizing the creation of a community that promotes healing and meets the intersectional needs of Black girls” - Dr. Danielle Wright + Dr. Rashida Govan

  • “Empathy Based Design During Turbulent Times” - Zarith Pineda + Matt Gonzales

  • “You Can Never Go Home Again: The LES Skatepark, Then and Now” - Preeti Sodhi + Jessica Forsyth + Wade Yates + James Rewolinski + Ted Barrow

  • “Accompaniment and Training in Tribal Communities” - Alejandra Cervantes + Taylor Sinclair

  • “Reflections on Rural” - Chau Pham + Lindsey Briceno + Alicia Ginsberg + Nick Guertin + Michelle Stadelman

  • “Designing Fellowship: Reflections on Sisterhood and the Practice of Community Design” - 2019-2021 ACD Fellows; Venesa Alicea-Chuqui, Ebony Dumas, Sarah Sao Mai Habib, Melisa Sanders, Camila Jordan, Taylor Holloway

  • “Managing Stress During COVID-19” - Sharron Lewis + Maudie Wilson

  • “The Power of the Pause” - Shalini Agrawal

  • “Black Land Matters” - (more information coming soon) 

Please check back, schedule coming soon. 



All trainings allow for ~30 attendees, and are 2-hours with 1-hour of open discussion at the end. Trainings will not be recorded. Sign up for a preferred session when you register for the conference. Spaces are limited. 


How Traditional Design Thinking Protects White Supremacy

Tuesday 9/22: 12-3pm PST / 3-6pm EST 

White supremacy and its values have been historically constructed into the social, political, and economic landscape of the world, seeping into professional norms and standards - including those found in design, design thinking, and other forms of creative problem solving. This virtual workshop will dive deeper into defining white supremacy and how it shows up beyond overt acts of hatred, explore how white supremacy is upheld in the ideologies and practices of “traditional” design thinking, and examine how our perspectives of design have been shaped and how we might shift design mindsets to more equitable, diverse, and inclusive practice.


Centering Power & Healing: Black, Brown, + Indigenous People of Color as Leaders in the Equity Movement

(BIPOC ONLY SESSION) Wednesday 9/23: 9am-12pm PST / 12-3pm EST 

From housing displacement and gentrification to discriminatory education systems and workplaces, oppressive and violent policies and social interactions, people of color are continually forced to confront harmful experiences both present and past. Recognizing that those with lived experience (and therefore expertise) with an issue are closest to the approaches to address them, it is essential that we center People of Color as leaders in the equity movement and cultivate spaces for amplifying power and healing. This session is for registrants who identify as People of Color and will provide a space to explore what it means to be a leader and Equity Designer in the equity movement, identify opportunities to amplify or shift power, and build community through shared experience and healing. 


Equity by Design: The Role of Power in Shaping History + Narratives

Thursday 9/24: 9am-12pm PST / 12-3pm EST 

"Systems produce what they were designed to produce.” (National Equity Project). History is our foundation for understanding the past. Rather than static fact, that understanding is both dynamic and designed. How might we design more equitable communities and systems through the lens of personal and organizational humility-building, amplifying narratives of those with living expertise and challenging narratives that uphold oppressive systems? In this virtual workshop, participants will examine the role of history in designing our understanding of the present and explore the power of perspective to redesign for justice and healing.