Current Vocation: 
Senior City Planner, City of Minneapolis, MN

What were you doing before you applied to the Conway School?
City Management & Public Administration

What brought you to Conway?
I wanted to strengthen my design skills in order to pursue urban design work within the urban planning field.

How did you first hear about Conway?
My former professor at the University of Connecticut.

Imagine we just met, and recognized we had common interests. How would you describe Conway to me?
Conway is a small eco-design lab and learning community to acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence that matter the most.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the field?
Get informed and then involved while embracing the process (aka patience). Join your local community/neighborhood organizations. Attend planning, park and/or public works commission meetings. Participate in a working group focused on your interest: environmental systems, waterfront habitat restoration, environmental justice, park systems etc. Audit a class and see if land use planning is for you.

What are you doing right now, and what do you love about it?
I work with the Long Range Planning team that recently wrote and implements the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. A plan that has become an opportunity to undo barriers and overcome inequities created by a history of policies in our city that have prevented equitable access to housing, jobs, and investments. A plan that focuses on “as our city grows, everyone must benefit from that growth” because historically, not everyone has specifically our communities of color.

I love what I do because I get the honor of helping our stakeholders acknowledge and heal from our city’s past and then move forward by envisioning and shaping their current environment. I enjoy the challenges of conducting city-wide community engagement, leading neighborhood revitalization efforts, developing affordable housing policies and advising on enhancing ecological systems that greatly impacts our marginalized communities.

What book changed your life?
Black Boy by Richard Wright. As a junior in high school, I took an American Literature class where I read my first book by an African-American author. That book made me fall in love with reading since it was the first time I could relate and connect to the characters, setting and plot.

What is your favorite tool? 
InDesign, Photoshop & SketchUp

Which aspects of your Conway education do you use in your current work? 
Presentations, stakeholder engagement, writing, document layout, working in teams, graphic renderings, design process, and how to ask the right questions!