Hello, I’m Kristen.
I write about place.
I love great places.
I am Black.
I am Urban.
I am an Urbanist.
My (late) dad was a key influence in me being interested in the city. We used to bike around our working-class neighborhood, walk to the neighborhood ballpark and go downtown to all the festivals. He also took me to more school buildings than I would care to share. My mom taught in some of those school buildings and encouraged me to write my first books, make my first crafts, dance on beat and have a moral center. Between the two of them and my years in Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham, Kansas City and Washington, DC I grew up and into a love of architecture, streets, trees, buses, trains and lots of other things in the environment. Now I bring this to you in a format that is straightforward about who I am, a black urbanist, a young woman of African-American descent who likes all things built environment, especially when it comes to cities.
What this blog is NOT:
- A hip-hop blog. It’s time we stopped equating urban culture with black culture. While black culture is a part of urban culture, it’s not the whole picture. However, there will be the occasional hip-hop song because I like music.
- A complete slam of suburban and rural living. I’m all for better design, communities and planning, no matter if you are highly dense or you are un-incorporated.
- The only opinion from a person of color (or any person) on these issues.
What this blog IS:
- A chance to present all these issues above and highlight folks of color engaged in all these areas.
- A chance for me to frame my ideas on the issues within my own cultural background.
- A learning experience.
- A chance to change the world.
My more formal bio
Kristen E. Jeffers is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Urbanist, a project of Kristen Jeffers Media. She holds a Master of Public Affairs focused on community and economic development from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in public relations from North Carolina State University.
She has presented at the annual Congress for New Urbanism on civic pride, cultural diversity, and the power of grassroots in communities. In addition, she participated on a panel at the 2012 UNC Global American South conference on the reverse migration of African Americans. She is a Streetsblog Network member and featured contributor to Sustainable Cities Collective. She has also contributed articles to CityLab, Greater Greater Washington [Greensboro] News & Record, Yes! Weekly, Grist, Next City, Better! Towns and Cities, Triad City Beat, Urban Escapee and Urbanful