A Gathering of Leaders-A #ThrowbackThursday Reflection

This week I attended with my mayor, several other councilpeople, local foundation leaders and other civic and educational leaders this year’s CEOs for Cities National Meeting in Nashville. That experience took me back to this moment:


This is my first major panel session, at CNU 19 in Madison, Wisconsin in 2014. I organized this group and this session on “cultural” urbanism with my fellow panelists Payton Chung and James Rojas, each to speak on how their ethnicity and their culture, as well as mine, influences how we built things.

The amazing thing about this week’s conference is that I saw a very diverse room, on and off the main program. We saw diverse programs. Some of us saw community services in action, in a community center designed to reflect the primary cultures served. More on that in a future post.

This post is part of my participation in #NaBloPoMo, the time of the year when bloggers come together to pump out daily content and connect. Find out more about that project and how I’m participating, here and here.

About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.