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Creating Strong Foundations: Building Equitable Partnerships and Fostering Collaboration

1:00-2:30pm EDT | 12:00-1:30pm CDT | 11:00-12:30pm MDT | 10:00-11:30am PDT

Session Description:

This workshop/discussion invites attendees to share thoughts and strategies for building equitable partnerships that provide the foundation for community design projects. We will focus on the close work we do with groups to understand what they need and want from a project, their current and future capacity, and their connection to the wider community. Building trust, respecting difference, and active listening are key to the success of these partnerships as well as addressing power dynamics and positions of privilege.

The attendees will reflect on how recent events have tested partnerships, we will ask: What is an equitable partnership? How can we be responsive to changing conditions and direct resources where they are needed? How do we better equip ourselves and community partners with this knowledge?

The NDC team will share a 3 part process for creating equitable partnerships and articulating clear goals for community design projects that are rooted in elevating marginalized voices and challenging systems of oppression. Through a series of activities, NDC team and attendees will consider their own experiences of working with/for community partners at different stages of a project. Collectively sharing practical guidance while critically reflecting on ethical processes and equitable outcomes. 

Community Design Works (CDW) is a program of The Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) providing pro bono planning and design services to communities in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, Maryland. We have found the only way our work is successful is to foster strong partnerships which value community time and expertise as equal to technical design support. In order to build a safe and trusted process to support design outcomes, common goals must be articulated by the group. NDC recognises that a large part of our process takes place prior to design. 

Speaker Bios:

Sophie Morley is an architect and program manager at the Neighborhood Design Center providing design services to community based organizations in Maryland. Since 2010 she has worked with the architecture charity Architecture sans Frontiéres UK leading projects in London and West Africa. She has taught architecture at several UK universities and her teaching focuses on equitable practice and social justice in the built environment.

Katryna Carter heads Community Design Works Baltimore, connecting passionate designers with dedicated neighborhood groups to advance community-based design solutions. She is an experienced project manager with a background in and passion for using design and creative placemaking in service of social change. Katryna has more than a decade of design experience, working across non-profit, commercial and government sectors. She holds a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Howard University and Masters in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Allie O’Neill believes design has the power to improve lives, spark civic participation, and create equitable, resilient communities. Since 2010, she has used her architectural design background to bring a unique perspective to her community design practice, rooted in participatory processes and design justice. Allie leads the Community Design Works program in Prince George's County, connecting interested professionals and motivated community members to complete a wide range of projects. Since 2016, Allie has served on the board of the Association for Community Design, currently serving as President.

October 27th, 2020 12:00 PM through  1:30 PM