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Message from CMP Faculty: Commitment to a compassionate, equitable, and just society

June 5, 2020 by admin

Dear Utah planners, 

As faculty in the City and Metropolitan Planning (CMP) Department at the University of Utah, we stand alongside the American Planning Association (APA) and its published statement “Righting the Wrongs of Racial Inequality.” 

Racism has fractured our communities and its institutionalization has long disadvantaged Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. The pandemic has only heightened these inequities with Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery remind us that white supremacy is alive and well. The astounding levels of police brutality we have recently witnessed serve to show that our governing institutions are still in need of deep and meaningful reform. As professionals working for the public good, planners must not remain silent in the face of such oppression, repression, and coercive political practice.

At this time when racial injustice is plainly visible to all, we recommit to our pledge to advance our vision of “a world in which planning engages with neighborhoods, cities, and regions to achieve ecological resilience, smart growth, and social justice.” 

As faculty, we are guided by not only what is right, but by the APA’s direction to (1) work towards ameliorating structural disadvantages in housing, transportation, education, and employment caused by discriminatory policies and practices; and (2) engage with less advantaged communities in the participatory process to bring about true progress in advancing equity and inclusion.  

As educators, we recognize that future generations of social justice advocates are needed to stand against structural racism and inequality. We remain strongly committed to our mission to “train students, conduct research, and engage the profession to create meaningful planning processes and outcomes that improve the well-being and quality of life of community members.” 

We will achieve this through our values of: 

  • Collaboration – bringing diverse people together, negotiating differences, identifying a common purpose, and working together to achieve common goals.
  • Diversity – appreciating that creative and effective work comes from diverse perspectives.
  • Equity and inclusion – serving and providing opportunities for all, with a special commitment to less advantaged people and places.

Through research, education, and service, the CMP community will continue to build a foundation towards a more equitable, compassionate, and just society. 


Stacy Harwood

Chair & Professor

Alessandro Rigolon 

Assistant Professor

Divya Chandrasekhar

Associate Professor

Sarah Canham

Associate Professor

Danya Lee Rumore 

Assistant Professor

Reid Ewing 


Ivis Garcia 

Assistant Professor

Keith Bartholomew 

Associate Dean and Professor

Sarah Jack Hinners

Assistant Professor

Brenda Scheer


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