Presidents Message on Racial Inequality

As APA California, we advocate and advance APA’s mission Creating Great Communities.  We have always said that best practices may look different for different communities: one size does not fit all. After everything that has happened in the last nine days, I want to make sure that our policies and mission are clear. We advocate for different planning strategies to reach the same outcome: great communities for everyone.
 
We, as planners and community leaders, have an ethical and moral obligation to develop and promote inclusive policies that reverse the decades of systemic inequities in our communities and our nation. It is part of our code of ethics

We shall seek social justice by working to expand choice and opportunity for all persons, recognizing a special responsibility to plan for the needs of the disadvantaged and to promote racial and economic integration. We shall urge the alteration of policies, institutions, and decisions that oppose such needs.

As individuals we need to spend the necessary time to uncover the implicit biases we bring to our professional practice that might cause us to reinforce institutional inequities. If these institutional inequities grant us societal privilege, we need reflect on how we can use our privilege to end these inequities.
 
There have been a great many leaders far more eloquent than I speaking out against injustice and inequality in these last nine days, in these last hundreds of years. I humbly join them and ask you as members of APA California to work with me to look at planning as an opportunity to make our communities places where every resident feels safe and thrives. 
 
Please read the APA Statement on Righting the Wrongs of Racial Inequality.
 
Sincerely,
Julia Lave Johnston
President, California Chapter
American Planning Association